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Knowledge From the Field

Evaluating Teachers: The Important Role of Value-Added

Published: November 2010

Publisher(s): Brookings Institution

Author(s): Glazerman, Steven; Dan Goldhaber; Susanna Loeb; Stephen Raudenbush; Douglas Staiger; Grover Whitehurst

Funder(s): Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Walton Family Foundation

View Report (13 pages; 336KB; PDF)

Evaluating Teachers: The Important Role of Value-Added

Area of Focus: Teacher Quality and Leadership


This report seeks to highlight and clarify areas of confusion around value-added, an evaluation system of teachers based on the contribution they make to student learning. It focuses on the use of value-added information, the implications of classifying teacher effectiveness based on this system, and the reliability of value-added compared with other forms of teacher evaluation.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+Value-added analysis allows teachers to see their performance placed in context of other teachers with students like their own, granting new insight into their own strengths and weaknesses as well as guiding resources to where they are needed most

+Although imperfect, value-added is a better tool for identifying both the least and most effective teachers than other measures, such as teacher experience, certification status, and seniority

=Debates over how value-added information is used should be kept separate from debates over whether or not to use the information­ as part of a teacher evaluation system

=A focus on the effects on teachers of misclassification (falsely identifying effective teachers as ineffective, for example) should be balanced with a concern with the effects on students (falsely identifying ineffective teachers as effective)

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Value-Added; School Reform; Elementary and Secondary Education; Teacher Quality; Leadership Development

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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