PACE Event

Value-Added Measures of Education Performance

Clearing Away the Smoke and Mirrors

President Obama’s administration has made a priority of compensating teachers, at least in part, for their performance. One of the approaches to the assessment of teachers is using value-added measures.

In this seminar Douglas N. Harris discusses the strengths and weaknesses of value-added assessment, both as a means to assess teachers and as a means to assess schools. Harris identifies the strengths and weaknesses of value-added measures, and discusses the errors that are often made in using and interpreting such measures.

As a part of a system including other performance measures, however, Harris concludes that value-added assessments can be used to support progress in California schools and classrooms.


  • Douglas N. Harris, Associate Professor of Education Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Moderated by David N. Plank, Executive Director, PACE