Audrey Amrein-Beardsley has updated her reading lists on value-added assessment. Most of the studies cited show that it is inaccurate, unstable, and unreliable. The error rate is high. Students are not randomly assigned to teachers. Ratings fluctuate from year-to-year. About 70% of teachers do not teach tested courses. Perhaps that is why other nations do not judge teachers by the rise or fall of the test scores of their students. Unfortunately in this country, at this time, we have a cult worship of standardized testing, which is used to evaluate students, teachers, principals, and schools. People’s lives hang on the right answer. In a just world this practice would be recognized for what it is: Junk science.

Here are her top 15 studies. Open the link to find the top 25. Open the link to find links for all these readings. With Beardsley’s help, you too can be an expert.

American Statistical Association (2014). ASA statement on using value-added models for educational assessment. Alexandria, VA.

Amrein-Beardsley, A. (2008). Methodological concerns about the Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS). Educational Researcher, 37(2), 65-75. doi: 10.3102/0013189X08316420.

Amrein-Beardsley, A., & Collins, C. (2012). The SAS Education Value-Added Assessment System (SAS® EVAAS®) in the Houston Independent School District (HISD): Intended and unintended consequences. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 20(12), 1-36.

Baker, E. L., Barton, P. E., Darling-Hammond, L., Haertel, E., Ladd, H. F., Linn, R. L., Ravitch, D., Rothstein, R., Shavelson, R. J., & Shepard, L. A. (2010). Problems with the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.

Baker, B. D., Oluwole, J. O., & Green, P. C. (2013). The legal consequences of mandating high stakes decisions based on low quality information: Teacher evaluation in the Race-to-the-Top era. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 21(5), 1-71.

Darling-Hammond, L., Amrein-Beardsley, A., Haertel, E., & Rothstein, J. (2012). Evaluating teacher evaluation. Phi Delta Kappan, 93(6), 8-15.

Fryer, R. G. (2013). Teacher incentives and student achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools. Journal of Labor Economics, 31(2), 373-407.

Haertel, E. H. (2013). Reliability and validity of inferences about teachers based on student test scores. Princeton, NJ: Education Testing Service.

Hill, H. C., Kapitula, L., & Umland, K. (2011). A validity argument approach to evaluating teacher value-added scores. American Educational Research Journal, 48(3), 794-831. doi:10.3102/0002831210387916

Jackson, C. K. (2012). Teacher quality at the high-school level: The importance of accounting for tracks. Cambridge, MA: The National Bureau of Economic Research.

Newton, X., Darling-Hammond, L., Haertel, E., & Thomas, E. (2010). Value-added modeling of teacher effectiveness: An exploration of stability across models and contexts. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 18(23), 1-27.

Papay, J. P. (2010). Different tests, different answers: The stability of teacher value-added estimates across outcome measures. American Educational Research Journal, 48(1), 163-193. doi:10.3102/0002831210362589

Paufler, N. A. & Amrein-Beardsley, A. (2014). The random assignment of students into elementary classrooms: Implications for value-added analyses and interpretations. American Educational Research Journal, 51(2), 328-362. doi: 10.3102/0002831213508299

Rothstein, J. (2009). Student sorting and bias in value-added estimation: Selection on observables and unobservables. Education Finance and Policy, 4(4), 537-571. doi:

Schochet, P. Z. & Chiang, H. S. (2010). Error rates in measuring teacher and school performance based on student test score gains. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Education.