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In a recent blog post on the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center Chalkboard, Harvard University professor Thomas Kane summarizes new research on the merit of using value-added approaches (i.e. growth in student achievement over the school year) to evaluate teacher performance.
Kane uses the research to respond to four common criticisms of value-added measures: 1) value-added scores for individual teachers fluctuate significantly from year to year; 2) value-added approaches cannot account for unmeasured student traits; 3) multiple choice tests do not accurately measure long-term success; and 4) alternate measures are more accurate. He concludes that while questions remain over precisely how to incorporate value-added measures, the research suggests that questioning whether they should be included is no longer valid.