The Validity And Reliability Of Value-Added And Target-Setting Procedures With Special Reference To Key Stage 3

Moody, Ian Robin (2003). The Validity And Reliability Of Value-Added And Target-Setting Procedures With Special Reference To Key Stage 3. EdD thesis The Open University.



The validity of value-added systems of measurement is crucially dependent upon there being a demonstrably unambiguous relationship between the so-called baseline, or intake measures, and any subsequent measure of performance at a later stage. The reliability of such procedures is dependent on the relationships between these two measures being relatively stable over time. A number of questions arise with regard to both the validity and reliability of value-added procedures at any level in education, but this appears to be particularly problematic at Key Stage 3. Target-setting procedures usually employ value-added data as the basis for predicting future performance, and the validity and reliability of target-setting procedures is therefore also problematic. In a five-year longitudinal case study of one secondary comprehensive school, the validity of both of these procedures was investigated using quantitative and qualitative methods. The validity and reliability of Key Stage 2 data, and data from the NFER Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT), as baseline data for value-added procedures, was investigated using regression analysis. Wider perceptions of value-added procedures were opened up using detailed interviews with a representative cross-section of teachers. Target-setting procedures were investigated by analysing numerical performance data in curriculum areas, by the use of questionnaires to students, staff and parents, and by detailed interviews with a representative sample of students. The results of the investigation suggest that whilst value-added procedures have a high level of validity and reliability for Mathematics at Key Stage 3, this is less true for English and Science. For non-core subjects there appears to be no rational basis upon which value-added procedures can be used. Staff attitudes towards both value-added and target-setting were often quite ambivalent; those of students and parents were generally much more positive. A number of concerns emerged with regard to the ways in which such procedures appear to be distorting teaching and learning, producing a culture of performativity where learning is increasingly seen as a means to an end, rather than a worthwhile end in itself. These findings raise some fundamental questions about our philosophy of education, about accountability, and about the knowledge claims which are made as a result of such procedures.

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