Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Value-Added Modeling used to evaluate, and sometimes fire, teachers

The method that controversial District of Columbia school chancellor Michelle Rhee used to evaluate teachers and fire some of them this summer has been used all across the country. It is called “Value –added modeling”, and is discussed in a September 1, 2010 New York Times story by Sam Dillon, “Method to grade teachers provokes battles”, link here.

The system evaluates how much a teacher’s students performance changed over the year. It is very effective in lower grades and with poorer performing schools where there is large room for improvement.

Teachers of AP students, however, tend not to benefit from such a system. After all, wealthier school districts have kids who take calculus in 11th grade and had started programming java in middle school, and can already get jobs or contracts with technology companies.

The Rand Corporation has a white paper “Evaluation Value-Added Models for Teacher Accountability” here.

The Educational Testing Service in Princeton NJ (responsible for teacher PRAXIS tests) has its own paper by Henry Braun on the VAT technology for assessing teachers, here.

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