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Gates Foundation Funds Value-added Model Research
posted by: Alix | October 14, 2010, 02:31 PM   

As student test scores are becoming a greater part of teachers' evaluations, the idea of having an accurate value-added model is essential for educators. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a generous supporter of education in America and is investing $45 million in research to determine best practices in developing a model.

The project is called Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) and is being conducted in school systems across the country. The project seeks to develop fair and reliable measures of effective teaching, focusing on finding what works and what doesn't when it comes to evaluating teachers.

AAE membership has historically been supportive of using student test scores as part of teachers' evaluation when a value-added model (also known as a growth model) is used. That position was confirmed this year in AAE's latest member survey. AAE agrees with the Gates Foundation's assumption that test scores alone are not an accurate indicator of student success; therefore, AAE supports MET's goal of developing a set of quantifiers that work together to form a more thorough indicator of teacher performance.

The program has already enrolled over 3,000 teachers for the two year study. One school system in Dallas is participating in the program, perching cameras in classrooms in certain schools. "The whole point is to determine not just ways to evaluate teachers," said Dallas project director Judith Guilbeaux, "but what it is that effective teachers do on a consistent basis. "

The ability to share best practices is critical in implementing a value-added system that will work across the board. Ultimately, the foundation hopes to come away with a value-added system that can be agreed upon by all stakeholders. It's refreshing to see a program that addresses clear problems in the system and involves teachers in finding solutions.

Do you think student test scores should be used in part to evaluate teachers?
Do you support the use of a value-added model when student test scores are used in that evaluation process?

Comment below.

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