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Challenges of Assessing Value Added to PK-12 Education by Teacher Education


by Robert F. McNergney & Scott R. Imig — October 26, 2006

This paper situates one university’s efforts to respond to challenges presented by the Teachers for a New Era program within the larger discussion about teacher education and value-added assessment. Teachers for a New Era (TNE) is a multi-million dollar, multi-year program designed to explore the value added to PK-12 education by colleges and universities by way of their teacher education programs. The Carnegie Corporation of New York and both the Ford and Annenberg foundations fund the program (with matching funds from participating institutions). TNE supports 11 institutions of higher education and their school partners in efforts to determine what, if anything, teacher educators do to help teachers help students learn.

The authors discuss a model of value-added assessment in terms of its provenance and its unique application at one institution. They present four critical issues investigators must address as they seek and interpret evidence on program effectiveness—those of accuracy, utility, feasibility, and propriety. Finally, the authors explicate these issues in terms of particular challenges that have arisen at their institution. The intent is twofold: to encourage others to scrutinize their work and to offer guidance to teacher education researchers elsewhere who are in similar circumstances.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: October 26, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12814, Date Accessed: 12/13/2017 12:38:20 AM

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About the Author
  • Robert McNergney
    University of Virginia
    E-mail Author
    ROBERT MCNERGNEY is a professor in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. He is a researcher on the Teachers for a New Era project at UVA. His research and teaching interests include teacher development, case-method teaching and learning, and classroom observation. He is co-author of “Nouvelles directions dans la formation des enseignants: recherché et pratique” in Technologies de communication et formation des enseignants: Vers de nouvelles modalites de professionnalization? Published by the National Institute for Pedagogical Research (2006) and co-author of “Case method and intercultural education in the digital age” in the World Yearbook of Education 2004: Digital Technology Communication & Education (2004).
  • Scott Imig
    University of North Carolina–Wilmington
    E-mail Author
    SCOTT IMIG is an assistant professor of education at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington. He previously served as director of the Teaching Assessment Initiative—the research component of the University of Virginia’s Teachers for a New Era grant. His research interests include the effects of high-stakes testing on elementary school students, characteristics of effective classrooms, and classroom observation. He is co-author of “The Teacher Effectiveness Movement: How 80 Years of Essentialist Control Have Shaped the Teacher Education Profession” in the Journal of Teacher Education, 2006 and “The Learned Report on Teacher Education: A Vision Delayed” in Change, 2005.
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