A Brief Guide to State Value-Added Reports
The ODE iLRC now offers value-added data for schools and districts through its Power User data extraction tool. Because these data sets are new, this message is intended to provide users with a brief explanation of that report in an effort to help facilitate understanding and interpretation of the data.
State value-added reports contain four types of data:
Value-added student counts: These figures are counts of students who are included in the value-added computation for a given grade-subject combination. Counts are not provided for reading/mathematics composite scores (“All Tests”), but since the counts for a given grade level between math and reading are typically very close, an average of the two could serve as a proxy for the composite computation.
Ohio’s value-added computation is based on scaled scores of students whose records are matched over time. The same business rules that govern “where kids count” are also used to determine “accountability” for a given school and district. Consequently, the student counts will not necessarily add up to the full roster of students enrolled in a given school-grade level for the year. Also, students who take the “alternate assessment,” which does not have scaled scores, are not included in the computation.
- Value-added scores are computed for any grade-subject combination for which there is at least 5 students tested. However, ODE rules mask computations for which there are fewer than 10 students. These scores are available to districts through their password-protected EVAAS data site.
- Value-added Gain: These figures are the point estimates of the mean gains for each grade-subject combination. This represents the average gain for the school (or district) for the grade-subject combination listed.
- Value-Added Standard Error: This is a measure of the precision of the Mean Gain estimate. The state has determined that 2 Standard Errors is the margin of precision that will be used for accountability purposes. Thus, if the absolute value of the value-added gain score is greater than the standard error, the score is determined to be statistically “greater than” (positive gain score) or “less than” (negative gain score) the zero point. Based on this computation, a value-added classification is determined.
- Value-added Classification: For accountability purposes, the state has grouped the results of the gain score/standard error computation into three classification bands. “Green” represents value-added growth that is exceeds state-level growth expectations. “Yellow” represents value-added growth that meets state-level growth expectations. “Red” represents value-added growth that does not meet state-level growth expectations.
These data are provided to allow for a convenient comparison of results statewide. But caution should be used in interpreting these numbers. From a diagnostic perspective, value-added data – especially at the individual grade level – should be considered in context. Each year’s data are important, but value-added information by its very nature is longitudinal and requires that we consider trends over time.
From an accountability perspective, it is best to consider the most comprehensive perspective possible. That is why reading and math at all available grade levels are considered together as a composite score in determining school or district “ratings.” Even then, we take a conservative path by incorporating the rule “current year in the Green” to move up and “three years in a row Red” to move down in LRC ratings.
Click here to access Power User value-added reports.
Value-added data can be found in the “Ratings” folder.
Separate files are available to access the data by district and school. Community Schools are included in the school level reports. The only prompt needed to run the value-added reports is to specify the year or years of the data. The 2005-06 data only include 4th-grade results for math and reading since that was the only grade level for which longitudinal data were available.
Since Power User reports often contain complex data sets and functions, a Power User User Guide is available for download from the data folder page. This helpful resource describes the advanced features of the Power User Reports through screen shots and simple explanations.
More information regarding Ohio’s use of value-added in the state accountability ratings can be found by following the Accountability link on the ODE home page.