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Can Value-Added Measures Improve the Assessment of School Quality?

Robert Santillano and Douglas Harris

Date & Time
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
12:00–1:00 pm
Tulane Medical School Building
1555 Poydras, 7th Floor
New Orleans LA 70112 Map and directions

Louisiana’s test-based accountability system relies on School Performance Scores (SPS) that heavily weight levels of student performance. This may seem like an appealing strategy because it is simple and successfully identifies schools with high-performing students. However, student performance is also influenced by factors beyond a school’s control – especially a student’s level of performance before entering the classroom. For schools serving initially low performing students, measurement of proficiency levels might not identify schools that successfully contribute to student learning and growth.

In this presentation, Education Research Alliance’s Senior Research Fellow Robert Santillano and Executive Director Douglas Harris will share results from a value-added model that estimates a school’s average contribution to student learning and compare these to the SPS.

Is the focus on student proficiency in the SPS just a problem in theory or can value-added measures be used to improve the assessment of school quality? Is the relationship between SPS and growth in New Orleans similar to statewide patterns? Has the relationship between SPS and value-added gotten stronger or weaker over time as the SPS formula has changed? These are the key questions to be considered in the analysis.​

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