Teacher-Level Value-Added Models on Trial: Empirical and Pragmatic Issues of Concern Across Five Court Cases

Audrey Beardsley, Kevin Close

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Ongoing or recently completed across the United States are a series of lawsuits via which teacher plaintiffs are contesting how they are being evaluated using value-added models (VAMs) as part of states’/districts’ teacher accountability systems. To investigate the empirical and pragmatic matters addressed in court, researchers conducted a case study analysis of the documents submitted for five such cases. Researchers framed analyses using measurement concepts resident within the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, given issues with (a) reliability, (b) validity, (c) bias, (d) transparency, and (e) fairness, with emphases also on (f) whether VAMs are being used to make consequential decisions using concrete (e.g., not arbitrary) evidence, and (g) whether VAMs’ unintended consequences are also of legal pertinence and concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEducational Policy
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • accountability
  • education policy
  • educational reform
  • evaluation and assessment
  • legal issues
  • policy implementation
  • teacher quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this