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.