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Measuring Teacher Effectiveness Using Value-Added Models of High School Achievement


by Nandita G. Gawade & Robert H. Meyer — 2016

This article uses empirical data to consider the consequences of particular characteristics of instruction and testing in high school for the modeling and estimation of value-added measures of school or teacher effectiveness. Unlike Mathematics and Reading for most elementary and middle school grades, there is a lack of annual testing of students in all secondary grades and subjects. The development of value-added models in high school is complicated by the resulting unavailability of direct measures of prior knowledge and readiness of the student for the relevant course. Another distinction between high school and earlier grades is the presence of greater differentiated instruction in high school caused by supplemental course requirements or by student self-selection into different courses. We show that the traditional value-added model used in NCLB grades and subjects can be generalized to the high school context. Specifically, prior-year test scores in related or core subjects can be used to control for differences in student aptitude for the course or subject being evaluated. Similarly, we can account for relevant differences in classroom characteristics—such as the average prior achievement of the students in the classroom—if they are assumed to be beyond a teacher’s control.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 118 Number 13, 2016, p. 1-32
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 20560, Date Accessed: 12/11/2017 11:46:45 PM

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About the Author
  • Nandita Gawade
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    E-mail Author
    NANDITA G. GAWADE is a researcher at the Value-Added Research Center housed in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a research fellow at the non-profit research organization, Education Analytics, Inc. Her current work involves developing econometric methods for the estimation of value-added models, and providing recommendations to school districts and states on appropriate use of value-added estimates for various purposes. She has presented her research at national conferences such as the annual meetings of the Association of Education Finance and Policy.
  • Robert Meyer
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    E-mail Author
    ROBERT MEYER is a research professor and director of the Value-Added Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as the president of Education Analytics, Inc. Dr. Meyer is known for his research on student growth modeling and evaluation methods and is currently working intensively with school districts such as Chicago, Hillsborough County (Florida), Los Angeles, and New York City; as well as with the states such as Delaware, and Wisconsin. He has conducted major statistical evaluations of programs and policies such as class size reduction, literacy, and Supplemental Educational Services.
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