A new study has looked at the link between instructional alignment (how teaching is aligned with standards and assessments), value-added measures of teacher effectiveness, and composite measures of teacher effectiveness using multiple measures.
The issue is important as, in the US and around the world, there is more emphasis on measuring teacher effectiveness and rewarding effective teachers. The study looked at 324 teachers of fourth and eighth grade (Year 5 and Year 9) mathematics and English language arts in five US states. They completed a Survey of Enacted Curriculum to measure their instructional alignment. This was then compared with value-added measures (taken from state assessments and two supplementary assessments) and teacher effectiveness (using Framework for Teaching scores, widely used by states).
The results showed modest evidence of a relationship between instructional alignment and value-added measures, although this disappeared when controlling for pedagogical quality. The one significant relationship they found was that the association between instructional alignment and value-added measures is more positive when pedagogy is high quality. There was no association between instructional alignment and measures of teacher effectiveness.
These results suggest that the tests used for calculating value-added measures are not able to detect differences in the content or quality of classroom teaching.
Source: Instructional Alignment as a Measure of Teaching Quality (2014), Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, online first, May 2014.