A Guide to Value-Added Assessment

A value-added assessment is used to make sure that students are making the expected academic progress. This is done by comparing their knowledge and skills in the present time to their knowledge and skills in the past. This assessment is used to detect and analyze growth and stagnancy, or perhaps a decline in a student’s academic journey. It is not so focused on specific achievements but the overall growth of a student to ensure that the students are actually learning, which is why they are in school in the first place. 

Value-added assessments also help in the evaluation of teachers to determine how good a job they are actually doing. Value-added assessment can be carried out at different levels, at the student level, classroom or teacher level, or school level. It provides numerous advantages over norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment. Some of these advantages include:

  1. Value-added assessment causes the focus to shift from statistics and demographics to the important questions that concern the growth and progress of students.
  2. Value-added assessment pays substantial attention to student growth. It allows teachers and students receive recognition for their progress and achievements. The measurement for this assessment is equally applied to students with a high level of success and students that are still struggling or are disadvantaged.
  3. The results of a value-added assessment provide insights into the effectiveness of a teacher, rather than focusing on the results of the student demographics. This is a far better measure of accountability. 
  4. Value-added assessment is not a single solution; rather, it gives the needed information to enable educators to make fact-based decisions. 
  5. Value-added assessment often makes the assumption that teachers go a long way in determining the growth and progress of students, and a good teacher can foster improvements in students

Value-added assessment is a great way to make sure that the information being taught isn’t just learned for the purpose of passing tests. The goal is for the information to be useful to the students and fully grasped by them. The U.S. educational system aims to be a model to the rest of the world and compete on a global level. As such, the knowledge and skill set of their students have to remain sharp and constantly improving. 

Do you use value-added assessment in your classroom? In the case that you don’t, what approach can you take to incorporating the practice into your curriculum? One of your main duties as a teacher is to ensure your students are being educated properly and are receiving the best support and guidance possible and to do this, value-added assessment is almost certainly needed.

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