Publications & Resources

Guidance for Developing and Selecting Assessments of Student Growth for Use in Teacher Evaluation Systems (Extended Version)

Jul 2011

Joan Herman, Margaret Heritage and Pete Goldschmidt

States and districts across the country are grappling with how to incorporate assessments of student learning into their teacher evaluation systems. Statistical models have been proposed to estimate the relative value individual teachers add to their students’ assessment performance. However, little attention, has been devoted to the quality of the student assessments that these models use to estimate student growth, which is fundamental to the trustworthiness of any teacher value-added measure. Student growth scores require at least two assessments of student learning – one near the beginning of the school year or the end of the prior year and another at the end of the current school year. Applicable across content areas and grade levels, the guidance is grounded in a validity framework that: (1) Establishes the basic argument that justifies the use of assessments to measure student growth as part of teacher evaluation, (2) Lays out essential claims within the argument that need to be justified, (3) Suggests sources of evidence for substantiating the claims and (4) Uses accumulated evidence to evaluate and improve score validity. The framework is purposively comprehensive in laying out a broad set of claims and potential evidence, which are intended to support long-term plans to validate assessments. By understanding the basic requirements that student assessments need to satisfy, as well as central assessment design features, we believe that the guidance can help states and districts move forward, accumulating important evidence and making improvements in the quality of assessments.

Herman, J. L., Heritage, M., & Goldschmidt, P. (2011). Developing and selecting assessments of student growth for use in teacher evaluation systems (extended version). Los Angeles, CA: University of California, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).