Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Statistics and Research Methods (PhD)

Degree Level



Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders


Charles Stegman

Committee Member

Wen-Juo Lo

Second Committee Member

Sean Mulvenon


Education, Model comparison, Teacher effectiveness, Value-added


A shift in accountability systems from No Child Left Behind to a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act redefined the mandate of classroom teachers from being highly qualified to highly effective. Whereas previously, a teacher was deemed highly qualified for having a bachelor’s degree, full state certification, and demonstrated knowledge of subject matter in the field they teach, a highly effective teacher had to demonstrate their abilities to move a student at an acceptable rate of student growth (one grade level in an academic year). To provide this evidence, student assessment data was now going to be a part of evaluating a teacher’s effectiveness.

A key concern now, was how to incorporate student assessment data to accurately, determine the input a teacher has had on a student’s learning progress. To address this inclusion, several statistical models have been developed/adapted to parse out the educational contribution of a teacher in a given year. These different models, however, are different in scope in regards to transparency, expense, and data requirements to name a few.

The present study used a cohort of fifth grade math teachers in Arkansas to compare four models (Gains Score Model, Covariate Model, Layered Model, and Equipercentile Model) on their consistency in ranking teachers according to each’s calculations of teacher effects. The teacher rankings were compared to investigate whether or not the teachers had similar rankings across the different models, across time, and for different subpopulations. Results are intended to assist school leaders identify the most transparent, and fiscally responsible model that will best serve their schools’ needs.