A school’s success in promoting learning is often measured in terms of the examination results of the students. Value added measures are designed to account for the ability of a school’s intake to provide a fairer and more accurate indication of performance. They are being increasingly used to provide more accurate data about the quality of schools.
This think piece paper is based on a research project undertaken to develop value added performance measures in Uganda. Ark’s research project has shown that robust value added measures can be developed for secondary schools in Uganda. Primary leaving exam results account for 46 per cent of the variation in secondary school examination results, showing the importance of controlling for this factor when evaluating school performance.
This paper summarises the research, highlighting the main findings in a more accessible way for a policy audience. The paper also discusses how this type of performance measure can be used in practice. It discusses how the Government and schools in Uganda have responded to value added performance measures. This may provide some insight into how improvements to the use of education data in developing countries can be achieved. The paper identifies several areas for future research: system level projects and accountability reform; developing value added measures in other countries; and developing value added measures for primary schools.