Value-Added Assessment. Value-added assessments measure growth in student achievement and isolate a school or teacher's contribution to that growth. Researchers predict how much a student will improve in a year, based on test score gains in previous grades. Whether the student meets, exceeds, or drops below this expectation tells researchers how much value the student's teacher added to their learning. Long-term analysis can demonstrate a school's effect on student achievement. A teacher's effectiveness can be gauged by his students' average test score gains above or below their expected gains.
Value Added Tax (VAT). A tax at each instance of exchange on the difference between the cost and resale price of a good. Heavily relied on in the rest of the world, this form of taxation does not exist in the United States.
Value-for-Money Auditing. Audits in which the auditors examine the outcomes that a service or program has achieved in relation to the funds expended.
Vertical Equity. (See Horizontal Equity.) The idea that those with greater needs should receive more from the government, and those with greater means should pay more in taxes as a proportion of their income or wealth.
Vesting. An employee's right of ownership to retirement benefits, as set by the retirement program; federal law prohibits employers from requiring workers to wait more than six years before owning 100 percent of their employer contributions to the worker's retirement fund.
Visual Rating Scales. The use of photographs, drawings, or sketches that represent each grade on a rating scale by trained observers to rate physical conditions (e.g., the amount of garbage in the streets or the number of vacant lots in a city).