Value-Added Measures in Education What Every Educator Needs to Know

Douglas N. Harris, foreword by Randi Weingarten
paper, 288 Pages
Pub. Date: Jan 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-000-3
Price: $26.95

Add to Cart

cloth, 288 Pages
Pub. Date: Jan 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-934742-06-8
Price: $49.95

Add to Cart

In Value-Added Measures in Education, economist and education researcher Douglas N. Harris takes on one of the most hotly debated topics in education. Drawing on his extensive work with schools and districts, he sets out to help educators and policy makers understand this innovative approach to assessment.


Value-Added Measures in Education offers an important paradigm shift in our understanding of how federally mandated test data should be used. Currently test data is used to compare different cohorts of students to one another. Harris shows that we will be able to meet students’ needs better if we place our focus on individual students’ learning year to year. — Christine A. Erickson, elementary teacher, Stoughton Area School District, Stoughton, Wisconsin

Public debate rages over the complicated issues of high-stakes testing, school accountability, and merit pay. In Value-Added Measures in Education, Doug Harris offers a detailed, reasoned, and accessible explanation of what standardized test scores can truly measure and how we can design educational accountability systems that improve teaching and learning. A much-needed voice in this rancorous conversation! — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators

Value-added measurement is at the heart of today’s efforts to reform accountability, teacher evaluation, and teacher pay. Yet those responsible for these systems are often unsure of the practical challenges or potential pitfalls. Doug Harris, one of the nation’s leading authorities on value-added, has rendered a signal service in penning this accessible, practical ‘user’s manual.’ Value-Added Measures in Education is essential reading for district leaders, policy makers, reformers, and educators. — Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute

Doug Harris’s book provides a clear explanation of value-added models and their potential value in improving education for the nation’s children. While neither advocates nor critics of value-added models will find that the book totally supports their position, members of both camps will learn a great deal from it. Value-Added Measures in Education provides thoughtful, constructive advice about a host of practical issues that confront educators who implement this approach to accountability. The recommendations that conclude the book reflect the best available research knowledge and, most important, are sensible and actionable. — Richard J. Murnane, Thompson Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education

About the Author

Doug_HarrisDouglas N. Harris is associate professor of economics and University Endowed Chair in Public Education at Tulane University. His more than two dozen articles about teachers and accountability have been published in economics and education journals and cited in the national media, including CNN, Education Week, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal. He co-chaired the 2008 National Conferences on Value-Added in Madison, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. He is a regular adviser to members of Congress, governors, school districts, and other education policymakers on value-added and other educational policy issues. In addition to his research and teaching, he is a former school board member.

Recent Review

“'Hold people accountable for what they can control'—a simple, yet foundational premise in Douglas N. Harris’s comprehensive new book on value-added measurement (VAM). With the AFT’s Randi Weingarten authoring the foreword, Harris remains impressively neutral in explaining the benefits and drawbacks of this controversial new teacher evaluation tool. The book attempts to 'clear away the fog' surrounding VAM, which is no simple task. In three sections, it offers a detailed explanation and contextualization of VAM (including an overview of its potential value when done right), a description of the challenges that arise in applying VAM in the real world, and potential solutions to these problems. Empirical analyses that support Harris’s points are intertwined throughout; the book’s stated goal—to translate this multi-faceted and contentious system into comprehensible language—is handled admirably. Harris concludes with recommendations for using VAM appropriately and effectively, as well as ways to create and report these evaluation metrics. This book serves as a worthy users’ manual for value-added and is a welcome addition to the teacher-measurement debate."—Chris Irvine, The Education Gadfly, (February 10, 2011)

comments powered by Disqus

Not by “Value-Added” Alone, Voices in Education blog

Table of Contents [PDF]

Economists and the Value-Added Wave in Schools, Education Week

Introduction [PDF]

Other books in School Reform, General

Teacher Quality 2.0

Edited by Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane

Other books in School Reform, General

Equal Scrutiny

Patricia Burch and Annalee G. Good

Other books in School Reform, General

Improving the Odds for America's Children

Edited by Kathleen McCartney, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, and Laurie B. Forcier; foreword by Congressman George Miller; afterword by by Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president, Children’s Defense Fund

Books From This Author

Value-Added Measures in Education