The Uses and Misues of Value-Added in Teacher Evaluations: Three Perspectives

The use of value-added and other test-based measures of performance in teacher evaluations is among the most controversial issues in education policy today. Supporters argue that new teacher evaluations are only meaningful if they include value-added as a predominant component, while opponents contend that these estimates are not ready for use in any high-stakes decisions.

This highly contentious debate has thus far focused mostly on whether to employ these estimates, but there has been comparatively little attention paid to how to use them in an appropriate, productive manner. And it is these “nuts and bolts” details of policies that often determine their success or failure. With roughly 30 states moving ahead with new evaluations, it is past time to get specific.

Nationally-recognized experts, Linda Darling Hammond, Douglas Harris and Thomas Kane will present and discuss concrete proposals for how to incorporate test-based performance measures into new teacher evaluations.


Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University; Co-Director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education


Douglas Harris, Associate Professor of Economics and Endowed Chair in Public Education at Tulane University; Director, New Orleans Education Research Alliance (NOERA).


Thomas Kane, Professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Faculty Director, Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research


Moderator: Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers and Albert Shanker Institute

Complete bios

Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other.