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

Mentors Make a Difference

Mentors Make a Difference

Mentorship is a very important step in retaining new teachers in the profession. Having someone to talk to and learn from, who have already been in their situations, leads to success for new teachers. Having the right mentor for a new teacher can make a big difference in their career.

read more
My First Quarter with SFS

My First Quarter with SFS

Our mission is simple – help busy administrators save time, drive performance, and focus on what they do best: being great educators.

read more
Is It Any Different Than Mowing Yards?

Is It Any Different Than Mowing Yards?

SFS may have started with a mission to make teacher evaluations “simple and meaningful” in Indiana, but we have grown into an international company that is working to contribute to a Better World. At SFS we will not stop innovating, driving, and working for you so EVERY educator and student can “win!”

read more
4th Quarter Accreditation Enhancements

4th Quarter Accreditation Enhancements

Here at SFS Accreditation our development of new features and enhancements continues to be driven by our client’s suggestions.   We’re proud to be able to highlight some of our newest features for you.

read more
The Importance of Clean Data

The Importance of Clean Data

Standard for Success is here to help clear the pathway to graduation! Join us on our mission to build better teachers, better students, and a better world.

read more