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Evidence of Grade and Subject-Level Bias in Value-Added Measures


by Jessica Holloway-Libell — June 08, 2015

While value-added models (VAMs)—the statistical tools used to measure teacher effects on student achievement scores—continue to emerge throughout districts and states across the country, education scholars simultaneously recommend caution, especially in terms of the inferences that are made and/or used based on VAM outcomes. This research note investigates an unexplored feature of bias in VAM-based estimates—that which is associated with grade levels and subject areas. Findings contribute an alternative perspective regarding how we think about VAM-based bias and teacher classifications.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: June 08, 2015
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17987, Date Accessed: 3/25/2017 5:39:33 PM

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About the Author
  • Jessica Holloway-Libell
    Kansas State University
    E-mail Author
    JESSICA HOLLOWAY-LIBELL is an assistant professor of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University. Her current research looks at market influences on teacher evaluation policies, practices and instruments. Jessica’s recent publications include Holloway-Libell, J., & Amrein-Beardsley, A. (in press). “Truths” devoid of empirical proof: Underlying assumptions surrounding value-added models (VAMs) in teacher evaluation [Commentary]. Teachers College Record; and Holloway-Libell, J., & Collins, C. (2014). VAM-based teacher evaluation policies: Ideological foundations, policy mechanisms, and implications. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies.
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