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Can Teachers Be Evaluated by Their Students' Test Scores? Should They Be? The Use of Value-Added Measures of Teacher Effectiveness in Policy and Practice


"Value-added models have become increasingly popular in today's policy environment as a way to evaluate, reward, and dismiss teachers. These statistical models aim to isolate each teacher's unique contribution to their students' educational outcomes based in part on student test scores. But NYU professor Sean Corcoran uses data analysis to argue that value-added models are not precise enough to be useful for high-stakes decision making or professional development. Corcoran cautions policy-makers, in particular, to be fully aware of the limitations and shortcomings of these models and consider whether their minimal benefits outweigh the cost."