Another Report Finds VAM is Flawed

14 May

“The majority of the variation in test scores is attributable to factors outside of the teacher’s control such as student and family background, poverty, curriculum, and unmeasured influences.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

A new report prepared by Andy Porter, dean of the graduate school of education at University of Pennsylvania, and Morgan Polikoff of the University of Southern California caution about value-added-measurement, basing teacher evaluation on test scores, because this method has “a weak to nonexistent link with teacher performance.”

Why are at least 30 states using this flawed measure? Because Arne Duncan made it a requirement of eligibility for Race to the Top and for state waivers. Despite the lack of evidence or negative evidence, states have passed laws tying as much as 50% of a teachers’ evaluation on scores.

“Morgan Polikoff and Andrew Porter, two education experts, analyzed the relationships between “value-added model” (VAM) measures of teacher performance and the content or quality of teachers’ instruction by evaluating data from 327 fourth and eighth grade math and English teachers in six school districts. The weak relationships made them question whether…

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