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Statewide value-added system to launch this week

November 4, 2009 By Stacy Forster

Administrators from Wisconsin school districts are working with education researchers at University of Wisconsin–Madison to learn how to use a new student growth measure.

Administrators from a dozen local school districts Thursday will participate with the University of Wisconsin Madison’s Value-Added Research Center in the first of four workshops to learn how to use value-added estimates. During the course of the workshops, district representatives will receive their value-added results, as well as guidance on how to interpret and use the data for student improvement efforts within their districts.

School officials across the nation are increasingly using value-added estimates, a student growth measure that monitors school productivity with respect to growth in student achievement.

The measure, intended to be transparent and fair, compares average student academic growth in a school to the average growth of similar students across a district, and it can account for such factors as a student’s prior performance level or socioeconomic status.

The Value-Added Research Center is working with the Cooperative Education Service Agency No. 2 in south central Wisconsin to roll out a statewide value-added system.

The statewide project is based on knowledge gained from a demonstration project funded by the state Department of Public Instruction and completed in June 2009.

Similar models will be put in place in other regions of the state later in the 2009-10 school year.

School districts already working with the Value-Added Research Center to use results to inform their decision making include those in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis and New York City.

Thursday’s workshop will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel-Madison at 4402 E. Washington Ave. Value-Added Research Center director Rob Meyer will speak from 10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and will be available for questions from reporters after his speech.