Researchers add insights for teacher evaluations

Feb 03, 2014 by William Schmitt

New research led by the University of Notre Dame's Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) points a way forward to improve certain teacher performance evaluation systems.

These systems look closely at the question: To what degree did the add value—that is, did students of these teachers grow and achieve more than expected, as measured by their score gains?

According to a U.S. Department of Education announcement of the study, the scholars' report "provides new information on the degree to which value-added of teachers differ by the assessment used to measure their students' achievement growth."

The research team was led by David Stuit of the independent Basis Policy Research. Other key participants were distinguished sociologist Mark Berends, director of CREO within Notre Dame's Institute for Educational Initiatives, and CREO graduate student Megan Austin, along with R. Dean Gerdeman of the American Institutes for Research.

The researchers compared the value-added estimates of teacher effectiveness from the state test and a norm-referenced test in the academic years 2005-06 through 2010-11. Data were drawn from the reading and math assessments in grades four and five in 46 schools in Indiana. The state uses assessment tools called the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+) and the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).

Results of the study showed a "moderate relationship" between estimates of teacher value-added performance from the two assessments, although there was also important variability among the estimates that requires further research. But the scholars' new report finds that one can reduce the likelihood of misjudging by looking at the student test results in a particular way, focusing on confidence intervals—degrees of confidence inherent in the data from the student tests.

"The findings indicate that incorporating confidence intervals for value-added estimates reduces the likelihood that teachers' will be misclassified based on measurement error," according to the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.

Explore further: Personalized advertising attracts more attention, makes the contents of ads easier to remember

More information: This January report, "Comparing Estimates of Teacher Value-Added Based on Criterion- and Norm-Referenced Tests," can be found at the Institute of Education Sciences website: ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/project… ct.asp?projectID=392

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Teacher influence persists in early grades

Jul 27, 2011

Having consistently good teachers in elementary school appears to be as important for student achievement as small class sizes, according to new research by a Michigan State University education scholar.

Can you recognize an effective teacher when you recruit one?

Feb 22, 2012

Research on the relationship between teacher characteristics and teacher effectiveness has been underway for over a century, yet little progress has been made in linking teacher quality with factors observable at the time ...

Recommended for you

Why are UK teenagers skipping school?

Dec 18, 2014

Analysis of the results of a large-scale survey reveals the extent of truancy in English secondary schools and sheds light on the mental health of the country's teens.

Fewer lectures, more group work

Dec 18, 2014

Professor Cees van der Vleuten from Maastricht University is a Visiting Professor at Wits University who believes that learning should be student centred.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.