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Value-Added Measures in Education: What Every Educator Needs to Know Paperback – January 25, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1612500003 ISBN-10: 1612500005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Education Press (January 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612500005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612500003
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.8 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,143,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Public debate rages over the complicated issues of high-stakes testing, school accountability, and merit pay. In Value-Added Measures in Education, Doug Harris offers a detailed, reasoned, and accessible explanation of what standardized test scores can truly measure and how we can design educational accountability systems that improve teaching and learning. A much-needed voice in this rancorous conversation! --Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators

Value-Added Measures in Education offers an important paradigm shift in our understanding of how federally mandated test data should be used. Currently test data is used to compare different cohorts of students to one another. Harris shows that we will be able to meet students needs better if we place our focus on individual students learning year to year. --Christine A. Erickson, Elementary Teacher, Stoughton Area School District, Stoughton, Wisconsin

In Value-Added Measures in Education, Doug Harris discusses one of the promising and undoubtedly most controversial measures of teacher effectiveness available today. It is also among the most complex and difficult to understand. I can t tell you how many times I ve said to myself and others, I really wish someone would just explain this stuff in one place. Harris s effort to bring this technical discussion out of stuffy university halls filled with statisticians and economists, to those directly responsible for improving our schools is not merely welcome, it is way overdue. --from the foreword by Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers

Doug Harris s book provides a clear explanation of value-added models and their potential value in improving education for the nation s children. While neither advocates nor critics of value-added models will find that the book totally supports their position, members of both camps will learn a great deal from it. Value-Added Measures in Education provides thoughtful, constructive advice about a host of practical issues that confront educators who implement this approach to accountability. The recommendations that conclude the book reflect the best available research knowledge and, most important, are sensible and actionable. --Richard J. Murnane, Thompson Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

About the Author

Douglas N. Harris is associate professor of educationalpolicy and public affairs at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Smith on August 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot to like in this book. Douglas Harris does a nice job of describing all of the statisitical cautions associated with using student achievement data for the purposes of evaluating schools and teachers. Great information in and of itself. However, professor Harris' analysis is incomplete. Though he rightfully argues for "advanced value-added" methods of accountability which adjust achievement scores for uncontrollable variables, he neglects the one uncontrollable variable that produces the most variation in student achievement - cognitive ability. For large groups of students of about the same age, say all fifth graders in a state, more than half of the variation observed in achievement test scores is due to differences in cognitive ability. While other variables, such as quality of classroom instruction and home support play important roles in achievement variation, fair comparisons among schools and teachers require that differences in cognitive ability be accounted for and systematically factored out of value-added calculations.

To date, none of the value-added accountbility schemes employed in the United States, including all of the examples described by Professor Harris in his book, have applied controls for cognitive ability thus rendering all of them problematic for high stakes decision-making - such as school sanctions or teacher tenure, compensation, or continued employment decisions.

Value-added measures of schools and teachers are potentially very valuble accountability tools. But basic designs must capture and control all of the most relevent factors affecting student achievement. This book does a good job of informing the design of robust value-added measures. With specific guidance related to controlling for cognitive ability, it could be great.
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This is great for beginner, however, it may be too simple for one who enthusiatic with model such as HLM or vertical link model.
Anyway, i recommend this book for everyone because it is very easy to digest. Editor is very good to explain things clearly.
But some facts are wrong (contain some factual errors but not serious), for example, the writer tried to compare failure in inversment banker norm to education norm by using the word snapshot. In accounting and financial environment, items in balance sheet is snapshot, but not for items in income statement such as profit.
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This book made a huge difference in my understanding of values-added measures in education.I teach at a research 1 institution and have decided to adopt the book as a recommended reading for the graduate students in my education policy course. I usually skim through texts but this text was so engaging that I found myself reading and re-reading through each chapter. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in educational policy and accountability.
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