Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Thoughts on Value-Added Assessment

Just "got back from" the "webinar" on performance-based pay, jointly put on by the Office of Innovation and Improvement and the Kennedy School's Government Innovators Network. Each of the presenters talked about tying teacher pay into growth in student test scores, or "value-added."

Value-added has gotten a lot of attention since I was working here way back in 2001:
  • Joel Klein recently announced plans to track student achievement in New York City as growth over time (though no mention of plans to tie these results into teacher pay).
  • Spellings is mulling tying AYP into growth, rather than expecting all students to hit a particular cut score by 2014.
  • Pennsylvania will be moving into full implementation of the Pennsylvania Value Added Assessment System in the 2005-06 school year.
Based on what I heard today, it seems like the idea has undergone a lot of thought, and a lot of potential snags seem to have been smoothed out. Would it succeed in attracting better candidates to teaching positions? I don't know, but I hope that once I'm certified I'll be able to teach in a school that uses something like the TAP program.

Update: Missouri will be implementing a student identification number system -- something Ted Hershberg mentioned today as a prerequisite for any kind of value-added mechanism to work. And it's not just them -- according to a woman quoted in the article, "All states in the country are in the process of putting in place a student identification system."

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