Book Review                                      Online Exclusive


How to Use Value-Added

Analysis to Improve Student


A Field Guide for School and District Leaders  


by Kate Kennedy, Mary Peters and Mike Thomas, Corwin, Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2011, 200 pp., $31.95 softcover

All school leaders have had to develop a working knowledge of how to implement and use value-added analysis to inform their decision-making. This book provides a thoughtful step-by-step approach on how to introduce value-added analysis to your staff using the analysis to inform instructional decision-making.

The authors of How to Use ValueAdded Analysis to Improve Student Learning provide clear and practical examples of using these tools at various stages of the implementation process at the district, building and classroom levels. The book walks the reader through the process of looking at student performance data using various lenses in an unintimidating manner.

In each chapter, the authors provide helpful definitions and samples of reports and templates to assist educators at whatever level they work. Each chapter concludes with a section called “Action Steps and Reflective Questions,” as well as one called “Hands-On Resource Guide for Teachers and Leaders.” I found these resources to be particularly helpful in both understanding the concepts presented and in implementing them by first identifying the essential questions that need to be answered.

This is a well-written, easy-to-follow guide to data-informed decision making at all levels of a school district. It provides understandable definitions of what is considered by many to be a complex topic.

Reviewed by Charles V. Khoury, district superintendent, Ulster BOCES, New Paltz, N.Y. 


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