7 Scopus citations


Value-added models (VAMs) are being used in education to link the contribution of individual teachers and schools to students’ learning. The use of VAMs has been surrounded by controversy and high-profile public debates. On April 8, 2014 the American Statistical Association (ASA) released a statement on VAMs related to their use in education practice. In this article, we lay out the discussion of the main points raised in the ASA statement within the large amount of scholarly literature published over the past decade in statistical, education, and economics journals. We identify the issues that are critical for the understanding of the VAMs’ strengths and weaknesses, and related consequences of their use for high-stakes decision-making. We conclude that the cautionary points raised in the ASA statement are supported by the findings in the existing research that, with a few exceptions, challenges the assumptions underlying the use of VAMs and demonstrates the issues that should be taken into consideration when using VAMs for consequential decisions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2330443X.2016.1164641
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages9
JournalStatistics and Public Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Accountability
  • value added models
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Education policy


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