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The purpose of this article is understanding the limitations of value-added measures (VAM) and the inferences that they do and do not support. These limitations fall into three categories. First, value-added measures (VAM) provide information about only one of several important dimensions of teacher preparation program quality, focusing on one outcome measure, but not addressing other program characteristics. Second, comparing programs on the average VAM scores begs the question of whether mean performance is the most appropriate way to look at program quality. Third, the measurement of program graduates’ VAM is strongly affected by the labor market for teachers, which weakens the inferences from VAM scores to the quality of preparation programs.
Updated: May. 04, 2016
The article examines how teaching practices contribute to the variance in test scores on a broad scale or on whether the relation of instruction to test scores is moderated by social and economic inequalities among students. The result suggests that minimizing the social inequities that contribute to the adverse effects of poverty will play a greater role in closing the poverty score gaps in mathematics in elementary grades.
Updated: Mar. 18, 2009