Date of publication: 2017-08-24 01:12
A review of the technical evidence leads us to conclude that, although standardized test scores of students are one piece of information for school leaders to use to make judgments about teacher effectiveness, such scores should be only a part of an overall comprehensive evaluation. Some states are now considering plans that would give as much as 55% of the weight in teacher evaluation and compensation decisions to scores on existing tests of basic skills in math and reading. Based on the evidence, we consider this unwise. Any sound evaluation will necessarily involve a balancing of many factors that provide a more accurate view of what teachers in fact do in the classroom and how that contributes to student learning.
Analysts must average test scores over large numbers of students to get reasonably stable estimates of average learning. The larger the number of students in a tested group, the smaller will be the average error because positive errors will tend to cancel out negative errors. But the sampling error associated with small classes of, say, 75-85 students could well be too large to generate reliable results. Most teachers, particularly those teaching elementary or middle school students, do not teach enough students in any year for average test scores to be highly reliable.
Besides concerns about statistical methodology, other practical and policy considerations weigh against heavy reliance on student test scores to evaluate teachers. Research shows that an excessive focus on basic math and reading scores can lead to narrowing and over-simplifying the curriculum to only the subjects and formats that are tested, reducing the attention to science, history, the arts, civics, and foreign language, as well as to writing, research, and more complex problem-solving tasks.
You evaluate a text to determine the objectivity of the author and the credibility of the work. Do not assume that your sole motive or goal is to eliminate sources. While this may be a consequence of your analysis, your goal should be to understand the context of the work so you can assess how it can inform your argument. To do this, you must analyze the text according to three criteria: the author, the publisher, and the date of publication.
Used with caution, value-added modeling can add useful information to comprehensive analyses of student progress and can help support stronger inferences about the influences of teachers, schools, and programs on student growth.
Is the work applicable to your study? The first place to look for answers is the table of contents. A book can have a great title but then can be full of tangential ideas or take an approach that simply may not add to your study. The next place to check out is the index. The index is a wonderful resource for researchers. You can use it to quickly jump to particular passages if your topic is well defined. More often, you 8767 ll scan the index to get a feel for the authority and scope of the text. Often you can learn most of what a book can tell you by reading the preface and the introduction and scanning the table of contents and index.
Value-added methods involve complex statistical models applied to test data of varying quality. Accordingly, there are many technical challenges to ascertaining the degree to which the output of these models provides the desired estimates. Despite a substantial amount of research over the last decade and a half, overcoming these challenges has proven to be very difficult, and many questions remain unanswered… 67
Another recent study showed that two-thirds of the difference between the ninth grade test scores of high and low socioeconomic status students can be traced to summer learning differences over the elementary years. 86 A research summary concluded that while students overall lose an average of about one month in reading achievement over the summer, lower-income students lose significantly more, and middle-income students may actually gain in reading proficiency over the summer, creating a widening achievement gap. 87 Teachers who teach a greater share of lower-income students are disadvantaged by summer learning loss in estimates of their effectiveness that are calculated in terms of gains in their students’ test scores from the previous year.