Analysis suggests that value-added modeling (VAM) is not reliable or valid for the purpose of identifying and replacing low-performing teachers and is not cost-effective for the purpose of raising student achievement.
This paper points out that the most popular current school reforms offered have failed to accomplish their goal because they fail to understand the fundamental problem of American schools, namely, income inequality and the poverty that accompanies such inequality. Prescriptions to fix our schools cannot work if the diagnosis about what is wrong with them is in error.
We examined the admissions and transcript records of 26,693 students who entered the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) as first-year students during the period of 1999-2009. Patterns of Advanced Placement® (AP) exams were evaluated, in conjunction with traditional predictors of post-secondary performance (e.g., high-school grade-point average [GPA] and SAT scores). Increasing numbers of AP-based course credits were associated with higher GPAs at Georgia Tech for the first year and beyond. Students with greater numbers of AP-based course credits tended to complete fewer lower-level courses at Georgia Tech and a greater number of higher-level courses. Students with greater numbers of AP exams with scores of 4 or 5 graduated from Georgia Tech at a substantially higher rate and in fewer semesters of study, compared to students who did not complete AP exams. Average AP exam score was the single best predictor of academic success after high school GPA (HSGPA). Regression equations that included both HSGPA and average AP exam score accounted for more variance in cumulative GPAs at Georgia Tech than predictions based on HSGPA and SAT scores. The most important predictors of STEM major persistence were receiving credit for AP Calculus (either AB or BC) and if the student had successfully completed three or more AP exams in the STEM areas. Men had substantially higher rates of these AP exam patterns, compared to women. Implications and future directions for various stakeholders, including high school administrators, students, and admissions personnel are discussed.
This paper is the Foreword to the Special Section in the Teachers College Record, titled, When Education Measures Go Public –Stakeholder Perspectives on How and Why Validity Breaks Down.
This article approaches the evolving concept of validity of assessments, moving from the scholarship of the past, to the constraints and demands of the present. The use of technology and globalization are raised as challenges to future approaches to validity.
This article provides an analysis of the recent publication of the value-added measurements found in the Teacher Data Reports of the New York City Department of Education.
This article, part of a special section of TCR, considers the political dimensions of validity questions as raised by a keynote address and panel discussion originally held at Teachers College in March 2012.
This article considers the value of the national move toward value-added measures and our current fascination with objective measurements – a fascination that stems from our collective distrust of our teachers and ourselves, and our reluctance to make judgments about the substantive narratives we teach students.
Assessment use has switched from measurement tools to policy levers. Meaning is created by use, and the intense push for test-based accountability and teacher evaluation policies in the U.S. has fundamentally changed the nature of test use. The core meaning of testing has accordingly been qualitatively changed, and serious policy attention to issues of consequential validity counsels against use of tests to drive policy unless, and until, the results that process itself have been validated for their furtherance of recognized goals.
This paper makes an argument for an integral approach for facilitating generative learning by adult learners under conditions of complexity. The focus is on applying adult development theories for enhancing the learner’s capacity for learning how to learn through experience with examples from six years of prototyping this generative learning approach in graduate classes.
This study used a developmental approach to investigate the relationship between academic and ethnic identities among ethnically diverse college students. The findings indicate that Students of Color perceive a greater connection between their academic and ethnic identities compared to White students, and that this difference can be partially explained by differences in ethnic identity.
This study found that both moral and performance character strengths are important and unique predictors of the academic achievement and conduct of a sample of 500 early adolescents attending several urban charter schools.
This paper presents an interpretive policy analysis of a recent reform measure in Hamburg, Germany. The analysis draws on critical appraisals of neoliberal education policy to contextualize the intentions and interpretations of the reform by multiple policy stakeholders.
This study addresses the question: How do educators describe their responses to standards-based reform? We draw on interview data from 60 teachers in 32 schools, in 10 districts in 5 states. Our analysis addresses the following key debates that surround standards and accountability policy: 1) the extent to which previously “left behind” students are receiving better instruction, 2) whether teachers and principals feel accountable to student achievement in a way that fosters positive behavior change, 3) how teachers describe “teaching to the test,” and when and if this is good or bad for teachers and students, and 4) the extent to which educators describe standards-based reforms as fostering desirable changes in pedagogy and/or the content of instruction.
This graphic medium manuscript presents research from a three-year study of feminist pedagogy in an undergraduate preservice teacher education course. Specifically, this manuscript focuses on two course assignments: an analysis of a post 9/11 audiostory about a Muslim family in New Jersey and a city bus ride around the teacher education students' university town. The co-creators of this manuscript use theories of the body to argue that teacher educators and scholars should tend to the body, and body-in-place, when making sense of and aiming for justice oriented education.
This article examines how a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) endeavored to build its school as an inclusive environment open to students of different sexual orientations. Focusing on the semiotic dimension of spatial production, this article investigates how a conflict over a sign on the GSA’s bulletin board functioned as one front in an ongoing struggle to produce the school’s main hallway as a particular kind of space.
Using a sample of over 2,000 English language arts teachers, this article analyzes changes in student opportunity to learn across eight years of standards-based reform. Findings indicate significant shifts in cognitive complexity of English language arts instruction over time, with differences based on school and classroom characteristics. Teachers in urban schools and schools serving more historically marginalized children have shifted their instruction to lower levels of cognitive demand relative to other teachers.
This article focuses on a well-respected young Black male algebra teacher in an urban high school whose practice differs from that of many of his colleagues in one regular feature of classroom interaction, what the authors have come to call “speeches.” This article lays out examples of the speeches and, using themes from the literature on culturally relevant classroom management, illustrates how these themes are regularly present throughout the speeches and capture the stance this teacher takes in his interactions with students. The cultural resources that this young teacher brings to his practice challenge educational researchers to conceptualize the role of such resources in teaching and teacher educators to consider the recruitment of teachers who have such resources, as well as how to teach prospective teachers to develop and utilize such resources in their teaching.
The article describes a theory of action that led to the development of seven 1½-hour in-service workshops focused on helping teachers to teach rational numbers to students. Students from diverse SES schools were tested pre and post, and the resulting effect sizes indicate students made notable gains in their understanding and proficiency with rational numbers.
This paper examines the lesson planning process, a neglected area of study, and puts forward a perceptual or arts-based approach that focuses on the engaged experience of the teacher.
Teacher education faculty face increasing pressure to simultaneously strengthen and reform teacher education programs while maintaining research productivity. The demands placed on teacher education programs to increase relevancy by strengthening clinical components of teacher preparation has once again reached the fore. The energy for this reform often rests on the shoulders of tenure earning faculty who have developed as engaged scholars during their doctoral preparation and wish to continue this work as they enter the professoriate. This qualitative study describes six challenges faced by new faculty who assume leadership in clinically rich teacher education reform and identifies faculty identity and micropolitical concerns as central to navigating challenges. A most important implication drawn from this study is that doctoral programs are now preparing new faculty who embrace clinically rich teacher preparation but do not receive adequate support as they enter academia. In the end, our newest faculty are quickly socialized away from clinical aspects of teacher education. After reviewing each of these persisting challenges, we discuss two assertions that must be resolved by university, college, and department leadership as well as tenured colleagues if we wish to support new faculty involvement in developing clinically rich teacher education reform.
In this article, we explore the legacy of the National Writing Project, a thirty-seven-year-old professional development network dedicated to improving the teaching of writing, focusing on the broader orientations (Friedrichsen, VanDriel, & Abell, 2011) developed within that network rather than solely on the transmission of specific teaching strategies.
This study uses an experimental design to determine that early college high schools have a positive impact on indicators and facilitators of engagement. The report uses qualitative data to suggest that these schools create an environment that essentially requires students’ active participation in school.
This article proposes explicitly braiding equity and technology scholarship to address a central challenge for education research today: figuring out how and when low-cost and commonplace technologies, in combination with face-to-face talk and paper, can support necessary communications between the range of supporters who share students, schools, a district and a diverse community. The article calls such work improving the communication infrastructure of public education, and proposes that researchers join educators, youth and families in the design task.