Readers sound off on value-added model, district efficiency

While reader response was mixed, many readers were skeptical of these new measures.

In recent eSchool News stories, we asked readers if teachers should be evaluated using the value-added model, which uses a student’s past performance on high-stakes tests to determine how much “value” a teacher has added in a given year, and whether school districts should be judged based on their efficiency—that is, how well their students achieve in comparison to how much the district spends on each child. The results are in, and our readers were largely skeptical of these controversial measures.

In Contributing Editor Cara Erenben’s story, “Should student test scores be used to evaluate teachers?” Erenben reports on the early results from a Gates Foundation study suggesting that researchers have found some validity in the value-added model. But when asked, “Should the value-added model be used to evaluate teachers?” only four percent of readers said this was a “valid and objective tool for measuring effectiveness.”

Fifty-four percent of readers said the model should be used, “but only in conjunction with other measures of teacher performance.” Forty-two percent of readers said they think the model is “unreliable.”…Read More

APQC: Process management can improve education

Process management can lead to more efficient educators.
Process management can lead to more efficient educators, APQC says.

An ambitious program aims to transform K-12 education outcomes, such as student achievement and smart spending, by focusing on the processes through which schools strive to achieve those outcomes–and it already has led to positive results (and millions of dollars in savings) among participating schools.

The North Star Project, spearheaded by the nonprofit American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC), focuses on process and performance management (PPM) as the driver of improvement.

APQC Chairman C. Jackson Grayson Jr. said he has a “simple but difficult mission–I want to transform the entire education system,” including state and federal governments, higher education, and private schools.…Read More