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Document Number: 5725

Schooling, Statistics, and Poverty: Can We Measure School Improvement? - The author sets forth a series of questions addressing the capacity of accountability systems to answer questions of school quality; the degree of variation in assessments of school quality provided by mean-based and value-added accountability systems; the possibility of measuring school quality and school improvement with adequate reliability; and the implications for collecting, reporting and using school accountability data. The author contends that “accountability systems cannot produce direct evidence about the effectiveness of educational practices in a school.” He also finds that, although mean-proficiency and value-added indicators produce similar results in general, in many cases schools perceived as high-performing using mean-proficiency analysis would not be viewed as such using a value-added system, and vice versa. “A reassessment of approaches to accountability appears essential,” and the author proposes convening “a national panel of experts to evaluate current policy and recommend options.” (Stephen W. Raudenbush, Educational Testing Service, November 2004)...

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