Trending Topic Research File: Value-Added Models
Trending Topic Research File: Value-Added Models
Value-Added Models

Trending Topic Research File

Over the past decade, the use of value‐added models (VAM) in teacher and administrator evaluation has grown nationally, while becoming one of education’s most controversial issues. Research evidence on the reliability and validity of VAM, and the consequences of using such indicators in educator evaluation, is still accumulating. In recent years, AERA’s journals have examined many aspects of VAM. 

The following compendium of open-access articles are inclusive of all substantive AERA journal content regarding VAM published since 2009. This page will be updated as new articles are published.  

AERA Journal Articles

Note: Articles are listed below in reverse chronological order of publication. 

Mixed-Effects Location Scale Models for Joint Modeling School Value-Added Effects on the Mean and Variance of Student Achievement
George Leckie, Richard Parker, Harvey Goldstein, Kate Tilling
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, November 2023
Researchers argue that further insights may be gained by additionally studying the variance in this quantity in each school. These include the ability to identify both individual schools and school types that exhibit unusually high or low variability in student achievement, even after accounting for differences in student intakes.

School Effects Revisited: The Size, Stability, and Persistence of Middle Schools’ Effects on Academic Outcomes
Tracey Lloyd, Jared N. Schachner
American Educational Research Journal, August 2020
Researchers found that school effects (encompassing both teaching- and nonteaching-related factors) are initially smaller but nearly as stable and perhaps more persistent than are individual teacher effects.

The Sensitivity of Teacher Value-Added Scores to the Use of Fall or Spring Test Scores
Allison Atteberry, Daniel Mangan
Educational Researcher, May 2020
Researchers revisited and extended Papay’s analyses in another Grade 3–8 setting and found similarly low correlations that persist across value-added specifications.

“Houston, We Have a Lawsuit”: A Cautionary Tale for the Implementation of Value-Added Models for High-Stakes Employment Decisions
Mark A. Paige, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley
Educational Researcher, May 2020
The authors discussed Houston Federation of Teachers v. Houston Independent School District and its potential impact, limitations, and significance.

Accounting for Student Disadvantage in Value-Added Models
Eric Parsons, Cory Koedel, Li Tan
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, October 2018
Researchers found that one- and two-step value-added models perform similarly across a wide range of student and teacher sorting conditions, with the two-step model modestly outperforming the one-step model in conditions that best match observed sorting in real data.

The Influence of Rapidly Guessed Item Responses on Teacher Value-Added Estimates: Implications for Policy and Practice
Nate Jensen, Andrew Rice, James Soland
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2018
Researchers observed differences in rapid guessing across grades, subjects, and teachers; however, this behavior did not appear to have a substantive effect on teacher value-added estimates.

Avoiding Bias when Estimating the Consistency and Stability of Value-Added School Effects
George Leckie
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, February 2018
Researchers show that fitting a joint value-added multilevel multivariate response model simultaneously to all subjects of cohorts directly gives unbiased estimates of the correlations of interest.

Value-Added Modeling and Educational Accountability: Are we Answering the Real Questions?
Kimberly C. Everson
Review of Educational Reseach, February 2017
Value-added estimates of teacher or school quality are increasingly used for both high- and low-stakes accountability purposes, making understanding of their limitations critical. A review of the recent value-added literature suggests three concerns with the state of the research. 

What does It Mean to Be Ranked a "High" or "Low" Value-Added Teacher? Observing Differences in Instructional Quality Across Districts
David Blazar, Erika Litke, Johanna Barmore
American Educational Research Journal, April 2016
Drawing on data from four urban districts, researchers found that teachers were categorized differently when compared within versus across school districts. 

AERA Statement on Use of Value-Added Models (VAM) for the Evaluation of Educators and Educator Preparation Programs
AERA Council
Educational Researcher, November 2015
In this official statement, the American Educational Research Association advises those using or considering use of value-added models about the scientific and technical limitations of these measures for evaluating educators and programs that prepare teachers.

The Use of Teacher Value-Added Measures in Schools: New Evidence, Unanswered Questions, and Future Prospects
Douglas N. Harris, Carolyn D. Herrington
Educational Researcher, March 2015
In the introduction to a special, VAM-focused issue of Educational Researcher, the special issue's editors pose questions and consider perspectives from labor economics, sociology of organizations, and psychology.

The Use of Teacher Value-Added Measures in Schools: New Evidence, Unanswered Questions, and Future Prospects
Dale Ballou, Matthew G. Springer
Educational Researcher, March 2015
The authors focus on four unappreciated problems in the design and implementation of evaluation systems that incorporate value-added measures.

Exploring the Potential of Value-Added Performance Measures to Affect the Quality of the Teacher Workforce
Dan D. Goldhaber
Educational Researcher, March 2015
This article explores various mechanisms through which the use of value-added might affect teacher quality, describing what researchers know empirically about the potential of each mechanism. 

Make Room Value Added: Principals’ Human Capital Decisions and the Emergence of Teacher Observation Data
Ellen Goldring, Jason A. Grissom, Mollie Rubin, Christine M. Neumerski, Marisa Cannata, Timothy Drake, Patrick Schuermann
Educational Researcher, March 2015
The results of this study suggest that the data generated by high-quality observation systems have potential to inform principals' use of data for human capital decisions.

Teacher Perspectives on Evaluation Reform: Chicago’s REACH Students
Jennie Y. Jiang, Susan E. Sporte, Stuart Luppescu
Educational Researcher, March 2015
This study draws on 32 interviews from a random sample of teachers in the Chicago Public Schools and 2 years of survey data from more than 12,000 teachers per year to measure their perceptions of the clarity, practicality, and cost of the district's new teacher evaluation system, finding that teacher perceptions about evaluation are positively correlated with their perceptions of leadership and professional community.

Will VAMs Enforce the Walls of the Egg-Crate School?
Susan Moore Johnson
Educational Researcher, March 2015
Drawing from research about the incentives and norms that influence teachers’ work within schools, this article illustrates the hazards of using VAMs to make job decisions and suggests how VAMs can be used productively as one source of information to promote improvement school-wide.

The Value in Value Added Depends on the Ecology
Henry Braun
Educational Researcher, March 2015
This commentary emphasizes the need to continually revisit the topics treated in the March 2015 issue of Educational Researcher, noting that researchers have much to learn learn about how VAMs are actually used in a variety of settings.

Can Value Added Add Value to Teacher Evaluation?
Linda Darling-Hammond
Educational Researcher, March 2015
This commentary reflects on the five articles published in Educational Researcher's special issue on VAM in light of other work in this field, offering the author's own thoughts about whether and how VAMs may add value to teacher evaluation.

Value Added: A Case Study in the Mismatch Between Education Research and Policy
Stephen Raudenbush
Educational Researcher, March 2015
This commentary questions a simplistic notion of how policy makers might make effective use of research by sketching how the various levels of the education hierarchy might collaborate, noting that in combination with a wide range of related research and a coherent theory of action, research on teacher effectiveness indicators can increase the potential for educational improvement.

Practical Differences Among Aggregate-Level Conditional Status Metrics: From Median Student Growth Percentiles to Value-Added Models
Katherine E. Castellano, Andrew D. Ho
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, February 2015
This article provides a framework for aggregate-level conditional status metrics (ACSMs), including value-added models.

Instructional Alignment as a Measure of Teaching Quality
Morgan S. Polikoff, Andrew C. Porter 
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, December 2014
This article is the first to explore the extent to which teachers’ instructional alignment is associated with contributions to student learning and effectiveness on composite evaluation measures.

The Test Matters: The Relationship Between Classroom Observation Scores and Teacher Value Added on Multiple Types of Assessment
Pam Grossman, Julia Jackson Cohen, Matthew Ronfeldt, Lindsay Brown
Educational Researcher, August/September 2014
This study examined how the relationships between an observational protocol and value-added measures shift when different tests are used to assess student achievement.

Is a Good Teacher a Good Teacher for All? Comparing Value-Added of Teachers With Their English Learners and Non-English Learners
Susanna Loeb, James Soland, Lindsay Fox 
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, June 2014
This article contributes to research about whether value-added measures are consistent across student subgroups by examining teachers’ value-added measures with English learners to the same teachers’ value-added measures with non-English learners.

The Random Assignment of Students Into Elementary Classrooms: Implications for Value-Added Analyses and Interpretations
Noelle A. Paufler, Audrey Amrein-Beardsley 
American Educational Research Journal, April 2014
This study’s findings, that overwhelmingly students are not randomly assigned into classrooms, have implications for value-added analyses and the extent to which nonrandom assignment practices might impact teachers’ value-added scores.

How Teacher Evaluation Methods Matter for Accountability: A Comparative Analysis of Teacher Effectiveness Ratings by Principals and Teacher Value-Added Measures
Douglas N. Harris, William K. Ingle, Stacey A. Rutledge 
American Educational Research Journal, February 2014
Quantitative analysis of thirty schools finds that teacher value-added measures and informal principal evaluations are positively, but weakly, correlated.

A Correlated Random Effects Model for Nonignorable Missing Data in Value-Added Assessment of Teacher Effects
Andrew T. Karl, Yan Yang, Sharon L. Lohr 
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, December 2013
This article examines the concern that ignoring the presence of missing values can bias teachers’ value-added scores.

Who Would Stay, Who Would Be Dismissed? An Empirical Consideration of Value-Added Teacher Retention Policies
Marcus A. Winters, Joshua M. Cowen 
Educational Researcher, August/September 2013
Examining data from the state of Florida and policies that deny or revoke tenure from teachers who receive poor evaluation ratings based on quantitative measures of performance, the authors of this article show that specific policy design determines the extent of the potential for value-added to improve the overall quality of the teaching workforce.

Teacher Value-Added at the High-School Level: Different Models, Different Answers?
Dan D. Goldhaber, Pete Goldschmidt, Fannie Tseng 
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, June 2013
The authors examine the relationship between teacher effect estimates derived from value-added model specifications employing different student learning assumptions.

Including Students With Disabilities and English Learners in Measures of Educator Effectiveness
Nathan D. Jones, Heather M. Buzick, Sultan Turkan 
Educational Researcher, May 2013
The research examines value-added scores in the context of the challenges of accounting for students with disabilities and English learners.

What Are Error Rates for Classifying Teacher and School Performance Using Value-Added Models?
Peter Z. Schochet, Hanley S. Chiang 
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, April 2013
This article addresses likely error rates for measuring teacher and school performance in the upper elementary grades using value-added models applied to student test score gain data, finding results that suggest policymakers must carefully consider likely system error rates when using value-added estimates to make high-stakes decisions regarding educators.

Multidimensional Assessment of Value Added by Teachers to Real-World Outcomes
Jennifer Broatch, Sharon L. Lohr 
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, April 2012
The authors of this paper develop a multiresponse approach to value-added assessment models that allows responses to be either continuous or categorical, leading to multidimensional estimates of value added by teachers and allowing the correlations among these dimensions to be explored.

Using Subject Test Scores Efficiently to Predict Teacher Value-Added
Lars Lefgren, David Sims 
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, March 2012
This article shows how efficient use of information across subjects can improve the predictive ability of value-added models using data from North Carolina.

A Validity Argument Approach to Evaluating Teacher Value-Added Scores
Heather C. Hill, Laura Kapitula, Kristin Umland 
American Educational Research Journal, June 2011
This article uses case studies to illustrate problems in using value-added scores in pay-for-performance plans and also compares 24 middle school mathematics teachers’ value-added scores, finding that scores correlate not only with teachers’ mathematical knowledge and quality of instruction but also with the population of students they teach.

Different Tests, Different Answers: The Stability of Teacher Value-Added Estimates Across Outcome Measures
John P. Papay 
American Educational Research Journal, February 2011
Using data from a large, urban school district, this study examines value-added estimates from three reading achievement tests and finds that test timing and measurement error contribute to the instability of value-added estimates across tests.