Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Understanding value-added

Making sense of value-added assessment is no simple thing. The FAQ approach at the Operation Public Education site at University of Pennsylvania.

Milwaukee Public Schools has recently published its 4th year of value-added analysis (school year 2004-2005 - pdf). The statistical model used for the value added analysis generates a "“beat the averageĂ‚" score for each school. The beat the average indicator compares a schoolĂ‚'s gain to the district wide average gain in reading, language arts and mathematics, from 2003-04 to 2004-05. The district wide average is equated as "0"” on the school graph. If a school has a negative score, it does not mean it did not experience achievement growth. Rather, it means that the achievement growth at the school was less than the district-wide average growth in student achievement. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal recently published a summary of the 4th year value-added results and a good explanation of how to interpret them.

Part of our agenda in VARC must address the substantial training obligation this new evaluation framework will create. Moving from simple reports of proportion proficient or average test score will require substantial explanations and use cases to make appropriate interpretation accessible.


No comments: