A comparison between value-added school estimates and currently used metrics of school accountability in California

Fagioli, Loris
May 2014
Educational Assessment, Evaluation & Accountability;May2014, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p203
Academic Journal
This study compared a value-added approach to school accountability to the currently used metrics of accountability in California of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Academic Performance Index (API). Five-year student panel data ( N = 53,733) from 29 elementary schools in a large California school district were used to address the research questions. Results show the strong relationship between AYP and API to student background measures. Schools with a majority of students from low socioeconomic background lagged far below schools from more affluent context. Results from the value-added approach however, showed a strongly diminished relationship to student background. Under this model, several schools from a low socioeconomic context can be seen as high achieving. Additionally, little evidence was found that high levels of student achievement negatively affect school value-added scores. Schools that enroll large proportions of advanced students, which often do not show positive growth across years are not penalized under a value-added approach. Recommendations for policy and future research are discussed.


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