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Data Reliability and the Tennessee State Report Card

A brief mention in the Shelbyville Times-Gazette: The Tennessee Value Added Assessment System (TVAAS) test has experienced glitches the past few years. For the 2015-16 year, the state’s test composite scores did not include grades 4-8 for that reason. Going with limited available results, Bedford County’s scores for the test were at 1 out of […]

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Court Rules Against Flawed VAM Model

A Texas court has ruled against the use of value-added modeling in teacher evaluation saying the system used violates due process. Texas now joins New York as states where courts have found value-added systems used for teacher evaluation simply don’t stand up to scrutiny. Here’s more on the Texas case: Judge Stephen Smith of the […]

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VAM-Based Bias

  Turns out, it does exist! By way of Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, we learn: Overall, Deming failed to reject the hypothesis that school-level effects as measured using VAMs are unbiased, almost regardless of the VAM being used. In more straightforward terms, Deming found that school effects as measured using VAMs are often-to-always biased. Read more about […]

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Oklahoma says NO to VAM

A new Oklahoma law will take value-added measures out of teacher evaluations and allow teachers to create their own evaluation criteria. The move comes following an organizing campaign by teachers to get parents involved in contacting legislators about the issue. Some teachers believe the new law will help stem the flow of teachers from the […]

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Connecticut Should Heed VAM Warning

Sarah Darer Littman writes of the recent Lederman decision on value-added modeling and warns Connecticut policymakers to take heed. Specifically, Littman notes: Justice Roger D. McDonough of the N.Y. Supreme Court’s 3rd District provided a reminder of this on Tuesday when he ruled in the case of Sheri G. Lederman that the N.Y. Education Department’s […]

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A New Director and some VAM Bias

Last week, Metro Nashville Public Schools hired a new Director, Shawn Joseph. Also, some careful analysis of a recent study by the Tennessee Department of Education on “effective teaching” reveals some bias in the way the state’s value-added scores are distributed. Specifically: The study used TVAAS scores alone to determine a student’s access to “effective […]

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VAM: Correct Diagnosis, Wrong Prescription

In his recent article in Education Post, Arthur Levine laments the limits of current Value-Added Modeling (VAM) while proposing a move to a “new” VAM or VAM 2.0. To his credit, he correctly points out some significant limitations of VAM in determining teacher effectiveness, but the solutions he proposes move in the wrong direction. Here […]

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VAM: “Arbitrary” and “Capricious”

Those are the words from a New York judge in the case of a teacher who sued over her evaluation scores — scores based on value-added modeling, or VAM. While VAM has come under scrutiny from educators and academics as a suspect means of providing teacher evaluation scores, this case marks a turning point as […]

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The Absurdity of VAM

Donna Krache offers a very brief explanation of why using value-added modeling (VAM) as the key means of determining teacher effectiveness is seriously flawed: The VAM system in New York also presents content challenges. Since the state’s tests are given only in math and English Language Arts, and since all teachers must be evaluated in part […]

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Unreliable and Invalid

Testing experts have for years now been warning school reformers that efforts to evaluate teachers using VAM are not reliable or valid. This from yet another story about problems with value-added modeling, or VAM. The story details the case of a New York teacher who is suing the state because evaluation results there, based on […]

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