Thank you ASA for thoughts on USDOE Teacher Program Evaluation Plan

VAM is flawed. The American Statistical Association says it better then I could:

“It is unknown how full implementation of an accountability system incorporating test-based
indicators, such as those derived from VAMs, will affect the actions and dispositions of teachers,
principals and other educators. Perceptions of transparency, fairness and credibility will be
crucial in determining the degree of success of the system as a whole in achieving its goals of
improving the quality of teaching. Given the unpredictability of such complex interacting forces,
it is difficult to anticipate how the education system as a whole will be affected and how the
educator labor market will respond. We know from experience with other quality improvement
undertakings that changes in evaluation strategy have unintended consequences. A decision to
use VAMs for teacher evaluations might change the way the tests are viewed and lead to changes
in the school environment. For example, more classroom time might be spent on test preparation
and on specific content from the test at the exclusion of content that may lead to better long-term
learning gains or motivation for students. Certain schools may be hard to staff if there is a perception that it is harder for teachers to achieve good VAM scores when working in them.
Overreliance on VAM scores may foster a competitive environment, discouraging collaboration
and efforts to improve the educational system as a whole. “


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