Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Re: Economists and Value-Added Wave in Schools” [Hake (2011a)]. The abstract reads:
ABSTRACT: Economist Douglas Harris http://bit.ly/eE72Vk (2011a) contrasts three recent reports on Value Added Measures (in decreasing enthusiasm for value added measures):
(a) “The Economic Value of Higher Teacher Quality” [Hanushek (2010)] - 100% economist authorship;
(b) “Evaluating Teachers: The Important Role of Value-Added” [Glazerman et al. (2010)] - 60% economist authorship; and
(c) “Problems With The Use of Student Test Scores to Evaluate Teachers” [EPI (2010)] - 10% economist authorship.
Harris (2011a) wrote [my CAPS]:
“. . . . there is a clear disagreement between these groups mirrored in the larger public debate. . . . . . why is there so much disagreement about what to do with these measures? The answer lies substantially in the backgrounds of the authors: THE HIGHER THE PROPORTION OF AUTHORS WHO ARE ECONOMISTS, THE MORE AGGRESSIVE THE REPORTS ARE ABOUT THE USE OF VALUE-ADDED [my CAPS] . . . . . . The divide between economists and others might be more productive if any of the reports provided specific recommendations. For example, creating better student assessments and combining value-added with classroom assessments are musts. . . . . . . . Another key step is experimenting with and carefully evaluating different options for using value-added. There is ALMOST no evidence to suggest that any use of value-added does or does not improve teaching and learning.”
“ALMOST” but not quite. In “Academically Adrift?” http://bit.ly/gwJD0W [Hake (2011b)] I wrote:
“Despite the naysayers and its apparent dismissal by a large segment of the evaluation community, formative pre/post testing. . . .[[a gauge of value added]]. . . . is gradually gaining a foothold in introductory astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, economics, engineering, math, and physics courses. At least for physics there is substantial evidence that pre/post testing has resulted in the improvement of teaching and learning in large enrollment courses at Harvard, North Carolina State University, MIT, University of Colorado, and California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.”
But can multiple-choice tests gauge higher-level cognitive outcomes such as attaining an understanding of the abstract and counterintuitive Newtonian mechanics? Some psychometricians - see, e.g., http://bit.ly/f6WFeg - and most physicists see, e.g., http://bit.ly/fDdJHm - think so, even though educator Marion Brady thinks not - see http://wapo.st/g4LlDw.
To access the complete 29 kB post please click on http://bit.ly/gIg6Ae.
Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
“What we assess is what we value. We get what we assess, and if we don't assess it, we won't get it.” - Lauren Resnick [quoted by Grant Wiggins (1990)]
Becker, J. 2011. “Economists and Value-Added Wave in Schools,” online on the OPEN! Math-Teach archives at http://bit.ly/eE72Vk. Post of 6 Feb 6 1:07 PM (the Math Forum fails to indicate the time zone).
Hake, R.R. 2011a. “Re: Economists and Value-Added Wave in Schools,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/gIg6Ae. Post of 8 Feb 2011 14:59:24-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to various discussion lists.
Hake, R.R. 2011b. “Academically Adrift?” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at http://bit.ly/gwJD0W. Post of 29 Jan 2011 10:00:09-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to various discussion lists are also online on my blog "Hake'sEdStuff" at http://bit.ly/hVYzHI with a provision for comments.
Harris, D.N. 2011a. “Economists and the Value-Added Wave in Schools: How Economists and Educators Can Find Common Ground,” Education Week, 26 January; online to subscribers at http://bit.ly/hUipzZ and also included in Becker (2011) in accord with “fair use” of copyrighted material - see e.g., http://bit.ly/eNseEp.
Wiggins, G. 1990. “The Truth May Make You Free, But the Test May Keep You Imprisoned: Toward Assessment Worthy of the Liberal Arts,” AAHE Assessment Forum: 17-31; online at http://bit.ly/a7g09T.