Select Page

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Dianna Whitlock’s published book, “Teacher Evaluation as a Growth Process.” To purchase the full book, visit Amazon or Barnes&Noble.

Part 1, Chapter 6: Value-Added Measures

While Chapter Five pointed out some inconsistencies and common concerns from educators with traditional merit pay systems utilized in the business world, most educators are in favor of some form of accountability when it comes to measuring student growth. Evaluation systems typically include some type of value-added measure as part of their holistic teacher evaluation process. Many states mandate that a percentage of a teacher’s final evaluation rating include a value-added measure.

Since so many systems of monitoring teacher progress must be tied to student progress, there has been much discussion on the best way to bring these two together. While evaluators can observe teacher and student traits that are classified as effective, student learning must be documented.  This is usually done with student test scores, although educators are aware that many external factors affect these scores. The most effective evaluation systems are those that measure both teacher traits and student results. This is summarized well by Phi Delta Kappan:

These tools are most effective when embedded in systems that support evaluation expertise and well- grounded decisions, by ensuring that evaluators are trained, evaluation and feedback are frequent, mentoring and professional development are available, and procedures are in place to support due process. (Darling-Hammond, Amrein-Beardsley, Haertel, & Rothstein, 2012)

Some states or school districts may refer to these measures as growth model data. For purposes of this book, we will use the more all-encompassing term of value-added measure, as they both enable a district to include some type of student growth measure as data contributing to the teacher’s final rating. As of 2015, 40 states required that a portion of a teacher’s final rating include objective data of student growth as part of the teacher’s final score to be reported to their state departments of education (USDOE, 2015).

Value-added measures are intended to increase teacher accountability and allow teacher influence and effectiveness to be integrated into the teacher’s final evaluation rating. These measures may assist in leveling the playing field in school accountability models by accounting for differences among individual schools and student populations. Nonetheless, they do not eliminate accountability and still require schools to document adequate student growth from year to year, which is critical to school improvement. This is separate from the observation piece of the evaluation process, and is usually tied to standardized or locally created student test scores.  Further research supports alignment of value-added measures to classroom observation criteria to better develop instructional strategies and thus enhance student progress (Kane, Taylor, & Wooten, as cited in Buddin & Croft, 2014, p. 4).

To continue reading, click here to purchase the full book.

Featured Articles

Education Advanced acquires Standard For Success

Education Advanced acquires Standard For Success

Education Advanced, Inc. (EAI), a leading provider of operations management and workflow solutions for K-12 school districts, announced today the acquisition of Indiana-based Standard for Success (SFS), an independently owned company, founded by teachers, to support educators and administrators with software, services, and solutions.

read more
Graduation Pathways FAQ

Graduation Pathways FAQ

Indiana school advisors, administrators, counselors, and principals all have the important task of tracking graduation pathways for their students. In fact, the Indiana State...

read more
Make the Most of an Evaluation Walkthrough

Make the Most of an Evaluation Walkthrough

In order to provide the most effective learning environment possible, educators need ongoing evaluation and feedback. An evaluation walkthrough is an assessment tool that you can use to provide valuable data regarding how well the implementation of standards-based instruction is occurring. A walkthrough protocol needs to be established to make sure the data is retrieved, examined, and analyzed as efficiently as possible. The following explains the steps to take to successfully implement this process.

read more
Coronavirus and the Impact on High School Graduation

Coronavirus and the Impact on High School Graduation

The beginning of the pandemic in 2020 had major unexpected effects on many aspects of our lives. Unfortunately, this had a huge impact on children’s education, which moved students and educators to remote classrooms online instead of the traditional in-class school days we are all accustomed to.

read more