Value-Added Modeling in Education

Student performance reflects many factors beyond their teacher's effectiveness, yet teacher evaluations often reflect how well their students do on standardized tests. RAND researchers are nationally recognized for their work using value-added modeling to distinguish a teacher's impact from factors such as individual ability, family environment, past schooling, and peer influence.

  • Malcolm Gladwell, V. Darleen Opfer, and Laura Hamilton at RAND's Politics Aside event in Santa Monica, November 12, 2016

    Blog

    The Challenges of Measuring Effective Teaching

    While educators, policymakers, and parents may agree on the need for more effective teachers, they often use different criteria to judge whether schools are doing their job. Parents have varied priorities for what they want in teachers and in schools.

    Nov 16, 2016

  • Mathematics teacher pointing to the blackboard and talking to his class

    Commentary

    Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Improve Teaching Effectiveness

    Policies aimed at boosting teaching effectiveness are a key component of a strong ESEA reauthorization. Addressing discrepancies in teacher quality helps teachers improve, retains effective teachers, and makes the teaching profession an attractive option for those contemplating careers.

    Feb 3, 2015

  • A teacher talking to a student at his desk

    Commentary

    Flexibility Is Key in Administration's Call for Teacher Equity Plans

    Thirteen years of research have clarified that metrics like teacher experience and licensure reveal little about teachers' impact on student learning. The focus should be on disadvantaged students' access to effective teachers.

    Aug 22, 2014

  • secondary school students raising their hands in class

    Commentary

    A Better Method for Estimating Teacher Performance

    Structured observation protocols for assessing how teachers provide lessons to their students offer the opportunity to provide teachers with valuable feedback on how their practices could be improved, writes Terrance Dean Savitsky.

    Feb 19, 2013

  • Teacher and middle school student at whiteboard

    Commentary

    States Tackle Education's Holy Grail: Measuring a Teacher's Effectiveness

    An accurate combined measure of teacher effectiveness would be the gold standard to capture and communicate information about the quality of educators. While the challenges to building such a measure are significant, research can help guide the way.

    Jan 11, 2013

  • apple and chalkboard

    Blog

    How Should We Measure Teacher Effectiveness?

    Some of the most urgent and contentious debates taking hold in states and school districts around the country revolve around the question of how to accurately measure a teacher's effectiveness. A new RAND Education website provides objective, nonpartisan insights that can help inform the discussion.

    Oct 3, 2012

  • apple and chalkboard

    Project

    Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

    Research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most to students' academic performance. What's less clear is how to measure an individual teacher's effectiveness. RAND's reports, fact sheets, blog posts, and research briefs provide clarity on this important issue.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • male teacher lecturing in front of chalkboard

    Content

    Value-Added Modeling 101

    Value-added models, or VAMs, attempt to measure a teacher's impact on student achievement apart from other factors, such as individual ability, family environment, past schooling, and the influence of peers.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    An Argument Approach to Observation Protocol Validity

    This article develops a validity argument approach for use on observation protocols currently used to assess teacher quality for high-stakes personnel and professional development decisions.

    Apr 1, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Simultaneous One-Sided Tests with Application to Education Evaluation Systems

    In this article, we discuss controlling simultaneous errors in classification of teachers or schools by a decision-theoretic approach.

    Feb 1, 2012

  • boy with puzzle pieces

    Report

    Missing Data in Value-Added Modeling of Teacher Effects

    The extensive numbers of students with incomplete records and the tendency for those students to be lower-achieving presents a challenge for stakeholders attempting to develop or use value-added models in education.

    Sep 6, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    A Model for Teacher Effects from Longitudinal Data Without Assuming Vertical Scaling

    The authors developed a "generalized persistence" (GP) model, a Bayesian multivariate model for estimating teacher effects that accommodates longitudinal data that are not vertically scaled by allowing less than perfect correlation of a teacher's effects across test administrations.

    Jan 6, 2011

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Value-added: Assessing Teachers' Contributions to Student Achievement

    Addresses complex issues related to teacher assessment and teacher quality.

    Jan 1, 2010

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    The Intertemporal Variability of Teacher Effect Estimates

    This article studies the year-to-year variability in value-added measures for elementary and middle school mathematics teachers from five large Florida school districts.

    Sep 1, 2009

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Exploring Student-Teacher Interactions in Longitudinal Achievement Data

    This article develops a model for longitudinal student achievement data designed to estimate heterogeneity in teacher effects across students of different achievement levels.

    Jan 1, 2009

  • yellow school bus

    Report

    Value-Added Assessment in Practice

    To encourage and facilitate data-driven decisionmaking, many states and districts have begun providing staff with information from value-added assessment systems—collections of complex statistical techniques that use multiple years of test-score data to estimate the causal effects of individual schools or teachers on student learning.

    Oct 14, 2007

  • teacher calling on student

    Report

    Measuring Student Achievement Over Time

    Longitudinal data tracking repeated measurements on individuals are highly valued for research because they offer controls for unmeasured individual heterogeneity that might otherwise bias results.

    Sep 4, 2007

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Bayesian Methods for Scalable Multivariate Value-Added Assessment

    Interest in value-added models relying on longitudinal student-level test score data to isolate teachers' contributions to student achievement.

    Jan 1, 2007

  • two children working at desks

    Report

    The Sensitivity of Value-Added Teacher Effect Estimates to Different Mathematics Achievement Measures

    Using longitudinal data from a cohort of middle school students from a large school district, researchers estimate separate “value-added” teacher effects for two subscales of a mathematics assessment under a variety of statistical models varying in form and degree of control for student background characteristics.

    Jan 1, 2007

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Challenges for Value-Added Assessment of Teacher Effects

    The use of standardized test scores to facilitate school reform is now a cornerstone of education policy in the United States.

    Jan 1, 2005

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