Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Advantages of Combining Internal “Consumer Ratings” With External NCLB Ratings

The school quality assessment process under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is criticized for oversimplifying and overemphasizing standardized test results and unfairly targeting diverse, urban schools. There has been much development in alternative test score evaluations, especially value-added models. These developments have tilted the public discourse away from the original discussion about how to best assess school quality.

Although test scores are an important metric for learning, school quality embodies more than this external evaluation. Stakeholders are uniquely positioned to internally evaluate the school learning environment that is central to school quality.

This study compares the external NCLB testing-based assessment to the internal stakeholder assessment using longitudinal data from Milwaukee’s School Climate Report Cards. Each tool is found to have scope limits and vulnerabilities to exogenous bias based on school and student-body characteristics.

 Combining both evaluations forms a broader assessment, reduces biases, and widens the evaluation of school quality.

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