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Using Alternative Student Growth Measures for Evaluating Teacher Performance: What the Literature Says

by Kevin Booker, Julie Bruch and Brian Gill
Using Alternative Student Growth Measures for Evaluating Teacher Performance: What the Literature Says

States are increasingly interested in including measures of student achievement growth, or "value- added," in evaluating teachers. Annual state assessments, however, which are the typical measure of student growth, usually cover only reading and math teachers and only in grades 4-8. These state assessments thus cannot generally be used to measure contributions to student achievement growth for early elementary school teachers, most high school teachers, and teachers of other subjects. As a consequence, a growing number of states and school districts are exploring alternatives for measuring teachers' contributions to student learning. These alternatives have the potential to be used for evaluating not only teachers who work in grades and subjects outside the annual state testing regime but also as complementary growth measures for teachers of tested grades and subjects. This report reviews the literature on two categories of alternative measures for evaluating teachers: (1) Alternative student outcome measures used in statistical growth (or value- added) models; and (2) Teacher-developed student learning objectives used for measuring growth. It also summarizes the evidence on the use of three types of alternative growth measures: (1) Student assessments other than annual state assessments used in statistical growth models; (2) Nontest student outcomes used in growth models; and (3) Student learning objectives (SLOs). Three appendixes are included: (1) Literature search methodology; (2) Results of the literature search for alternative student outcomes in statistical growth models; and (3) Results of the literature search for student learning objectives. (Contains 3 notes and 16 tables.) [This report was prepared for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) by Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic administered by ICF International. For the report summary, see ED544208.]

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