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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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