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Publication - Professor Sally Thomas

    Value-added indicators for a fairer Chilean school accountability system

    A pending subject


    Chereau, BM, Aguero, AA & Thomas, S, 2019, ‘Value-added indicators for a fairer Chilean school accountability system: A pending subject’. Journal of Education Policy.


    Although schools’ relative contribution to pupils’ progress is increasingly used in accountability systems around the world (OECD, 2013), momentum for value-added models (VAM) has not been reached in Chile. This small-scale study explores qualitatively the policy context in which this omission takes place, by analyzing policy documents and interviewing local policymakers and researchers about their views on VAM. These agents and official documents not only point to political, methodological and pragmatic reasons for and against value-added indicators, but also highlighted ethical and legal reasons pro (but not against) VAM. Overall, the most prominent reason for including VAM into the new accountability system was the ethical consideration. The notion that a fairer indicator could make justice, especially for those schools working in disadvantaged contexts, was a recurrent idea. In contrast, the most recurrent reasons against VAM were methodological. Whilst research on VAM for the Chilean school system has been conducted over the last decade, it has impacted very little the policy arena. Given that the creation of frameworks for assessing value-added indicators takes time, needs policy and research support and needs to consider potential unintended consequences, the road towards including them into the Chilean school accountability system is just starting.

    Full details in the University publications repository