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See detailHow sensitive are the evaluations of a school's effectiveness to the selection of covariates in the applied value‑added model?
Levy, Jessica UL; Brunner, Martin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

in Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (2022)

There is no final consensus regarding which covariates should be used (in addition to prior achievement) when estimating value-added (VA) scores to evaluate a school’s effectiveness. Therefore, we ... [more ▼]

There is no final consensus regarding which covariates should be used (in addition to prior achievement) when estimating value-added (VA) scores to evaluate a school’s effectiveness. Therefore, we examined the sensitivity of evaluations of schools’ effectiveness in math and language achievement to covariate selection in the applied VA model. Four covariate sets were systematically combined, including prior achievement from the same or different domain, sociodemographic and sociocultural background characteristics, and domain-specific achievement motivation. School VA scores were estimated using longitudinal data from the Luxembourg School Monitoring Programme with some 3600 students attending 153 primary schools in Grades 1 and 3. VA scores varied considerably, despite high correlations between VA scores based on the different sets of covariates (.66 < r < 1.00). The explained variance and consistency of school VA scores substantially improved when including prior math and prior language achievement in VA models for math and prior language achievement with sociodemographic and sociocultural background characteristics in VA models for language. These findings suggest that prior achievement in the same subject, the most commonly used covariate to date, may be insufficient to control for between-school differences in student intake when estimating school VA scores. We thus recommend using VA models with caution and applying VA scores for informative purposes rather than as a mean to base accountability decisions upon. [less ▲]

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See detailMethodological Issues in Value-Added Modeling: An International Review from 26 Countries
Levy, Jessica UL; Brunner, Martin; Keller, Ulrich UL et al

in Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (2019), 31(3), 257-287

Value-added (VA) modeling can be used to quantify teacher and school effectiveness by estimating the effect of pedagogical actions on students’ achievement. It is gaining increasing importance in ... [more ▼]

Value-added (VA) modeling can be used to quantify teacher and school effectiveness by estimating the effect of pedagogical actions on students’ achievement. It is gaining increasing importance in educational evaluation, teacher accountability, and high-stakes decisions. We analyzed 370 empirical studies on VA modeling, focusing on modeling and methodological issues to identify key factors for improvement. The studies stemmed from 26 countries (68% from the USA). Most studies applied linear regression or multilevel models. Most studies (i.e., 85%) included prior achievement as a covariate, but only 2% included noncognitive predictors of achievement (e.g., personality or affective student variables). Fifty-five percent of the studies did not apply statistical adjustments (e.g., shrinkage) to increase precision in effectiveness estimates, and 88% included no model diagnostics. We conclude that research on VA modeling can be significantly enhanced regarding the inclusion of covariates, model adjustment and diagnostics, and the clarity and transparency of reporting. [less ▲]

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See detailGood education in an age of measurement: On the need to reconnect with the question of purpose in education.
Biesta, Gert UL

in Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability (2009), 21(1), 33-46

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