John Ogozolek Explains VAM to the Confused

29 Nov

Value added measures of teaching are “unscientific” and “unproven.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Since the announcement of Race to the Top, schools have become even more obsessed with test scores than they were under No Child Left Behind (which still exists in law). To be eligible to get a portion of Race to the Top’s $4.35 billion, states had to agree to evaluate their teachers to a significant degree by the test scores of their students. Later, when states needed waivers from NCLB’s mandate that every child must be proficient by 2014 or their schools would be labeled “failing,” Secretary Duncan made the waivers conditional on states’ agreement to evaluate teachers by the test scores of their students. Unfortunately at the time the U.S. Department of Education insisted on what was known as “value-added-modeling” (VAM), testing experts did not agree that it was fair or reliable as a measure of teacher effectiveness. On October 5, 2009, the Board on Testing and Assessment of…

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