Using Student Growth to Evaluate Educators of Students With Disabilities: Issues, Challenges, and Next Steps

States are in the process of making policy and practice decisions relative to the use of student growth in performance evaluations. Because of an array of technical issues, states may be tempted to exclude standardized test scores for students with disabilities in their value-added or growth modeling, but this approach would limit teacher accountability for the growth of students with disabilities. However, if growth is not accurately measured for students with disabilities, teachers may be less likely to accept students with disabilities in their classrooms. In this September 2012 presentation at the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education fall conference, Lynn Holdheide discusses how states can use student growth to evaluate teachers of students with disabilities. She explores the issues and challenges with current models for measuring student learning, including student learning objectives, subject and grade team models, pretests and posttests, and the schoolwide value-added model.