Fall 2016


Interpreting theRight to an Education as a Norm Referenced Adequacy Standard 

By: John Pijanowski

Our current conceptions of educational adequacy emerged out of an era dominated by equity based school resource litigation. During that time of transitioning between successful litigation strategies, legal opinions provided clues as to how future courts might view a norm-referenced approach to establishing an adequacy standard - an approach that appreciates that for certain social goods, equity and adequacy are inextricably connected. This article explores three decades of school finance litigation and attempts to define the limits of the right to an education, to glean how a norm referenced right to education argument grows out of the historical legal framework.

The Potential Consequence of Using Value-Added Models to Evaluate Teachers  

By: Zuchao Shen, Carlee Escue Simon, and Ben Kelcey

Value-added models try to separate the contribution of individual teachers or schools to students’ learning growth measured by standardized test scores.  There is a policy trend to use value-added modeling to evaluate teachers because of its face validity and superficial objectiveness.  This article investigates the potential long term consequences of making high-stakes decisions based on value-added teacher evaluations.  To investigate this question, we analyze the micro-level effects on teacher effectiveness from the view of policy implementation and the macro-level effects on teacher quality based on the dynamic change of the teacher job market.  We argue that the establishment of a formal connection between value-added teacher evaluations and high-stakes decision-making may compromise teacher effectiveness and teacher quality.  We conclude that this connection between value-added measures and high-stakes decisions should not be established when it compromises the perception of a teacher’s position as a secure and decent job.