Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2023, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 63-80.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2023.02.006

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Exploring the Chinese Pathway of Value-Added Assessment: Critical Analysis of the U.S. Practice

Yumei Han1,2, Wenfan Yan3, Dan Jiang1   

  1. 1. Center for Studies of Education and Psychology of Ethnic Minorities in Southwest China, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
    2. Center for Educational Policy Studies, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
    3. University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125-3393, USA
  • Accepted:2022-09-01 Online:2023-02-01 Published:2023-01-18


Comparative study and critical analysis approach were applied to analyze the essential features, technical issues, applicable limits, integration trends and preparative conditions of teacher value-added assessment, as well as to detect its pathway in terms of value proposition, technical breakthrough, application focus, developmental framework and practical transformation. Teacher value-added assessment measures teachers’ contribution to students’ learning based on their achievement growth, with the usage of value-added modelling. The approach quantifies the causal effect of teachers’ teaching upon student learning growth, and therefore provides quantitative evidence to diagnose levels of teachers’ effectiveness. Such features imply evidence-based orientation and technical specialties of value-added assessment, however, considering the limitations, over estimation of its value and over generalization in application should be avoided. Debates and unsolved technical challenges still exist around the issues of value-added modelling in terms of reliability, validity and statistical bias, Chinese efforts should be made to challenge the cutting-edge technological innovation and overcome the unsolved difficulties. Drawn from the evaluation reform history and empirical evidence of the U.S., it is proven that teacher value-added assessment should avoid risk of serving high-stakes decisions and highlight its diagnostic function. Integration of value-added assessment with diverse measurements becomes international trend in common, local efforts should be made to construct an integrated assessment system based on value pluralism and negotiation between multiple stakeholders. To promote practical implication of value-added assessment, preparative conditions should be met in development of national system of standardized assessment of student achievement and growth, development of national databases, organization of a professional team of expertise, as well as establishment of reporting and reflection mechanism for value-added assessment results and impacts, in order to add the maximized value to the new evaluation system.

Key words: value-added assessment, teacher value-added assessment, teacher effect, critical analysis