Incorporating Stakeholder Feedback when Developing Value-Added Models

In light of the ODE report suggesting we're over-testing students, this study titled "Anticipating and incorporating stakeholder feedback when developing value-added models" offers further means to address the explosion in testing.

Abstract: State and local education agencies across the United States are increasingly adopting rigorous teacher evaluation systems. Most systems formally incorporate teacher performance as measured by student test-score growth, sometimes by state mandate. An important consideration that will influence the long-term persistence and efficacy of these systems is stakeholder buy-in, including buy-in from teachers. In this study we document common questions from teachers about value-added measures and provide research-based responses to these questions.

The study found four key issues that consistently came up with regard to the use of value-added for teacher evaluations:

1. Differentiated Students. How can the model deal with a teacher who has students who are different for some reason (e.g., poverty, special education, etc.)? Will that teacher be treated unfairly by the model?
2. Student Attendance. Will teachers be held accountable for students who do not regularly attend class?
3. Outside Events and Policies. How can the model account for major events (e.g., school closings for snow) or initiatives (e.g., Common Core implementation) that impact achievement?
4. Ex Ante Expectations. Why can’t teachers have their predicted scores – the target average performance levels for their students – in advance?

These questions still persist today, and are larely unanswered.

Here's the full report.