Breaking News: Tennessee State Board Considers Dropping VAM!

3 Feb

More on the value added front

Diane Ravitch's blog

In a startling development, the State Board of Education in Tennessee made clear at its meeting on Friday that it may eliminate or modify value-added measurement (VAM).

State Commissioner Keven Huffman was stunned.

Tennessee is the state where VAM got started, launched in the 1980s by agricultural statistician William Sanders. Based on his experience, Sanders assumed that it was possible to hold all other variables constant and attribute the rise or fall of test scores to teachers. Most social scientists understand that children are not corn, and it is impossible to hold all other variables constant. But Sanders now has a consulting business, and his methods are proprietary information, c.osely held.

In the future, if the board sticks to its guns, VAM will not play a part in deciding whether teachers may be licensed to work in the state of Tennessee. Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, an expert on VAM, celebrates that major…

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