With VAM: All Teachers of the Gifted Are “Bad” Teachers

Value Added Assessments like EVAAS cannot alone determine a teacher’s effectiveness with any more accuracy than standardized test scores do.

How can anyone project what a student “should” do on the next test when the test constantly changes, when the child’s life constantly changes (hormones are just one aspect), when the standards constantly change, and when subject changes. How can a child go from Geography into World History and produce any data at all that would attempt to accurately predict success? How can a test performance projection be accurate when a child suddenly finds himself in the middle of a divorce or sudden parental job-loss or even death? How can any data claim to project how a student will perform on any test on any given day? This shows the presumptive nature of the data used for Value Added Evaluations and just how useless they actually are.

Sooner or later the legislature must surely realize the very best teaching cannot be quantified. The very best teachers are artists. And truly, there is no ONE WAY to be a good teacher.

Diane Ravitch's blog

In this age of value-added measurement, when teachers are judged by the rise or fall of their students’ test scores, it is very dangerous to teach gifted classes. Their scores are already at the top, and they have nowhere to go, so the teacher will get a low rating. It is also dangerous to teach English language learners, students with disabilities, and troubled youth. Their scores will not go up as much as the kids in affluent districts who have no issues.

Here is what happened to one teacher of gifted students:

“As a teacher of gifted students in Florida, I can attest to the fact that you are more likely to get slammed by VAM. I was rated the worst teacher at my school, the 14th worst teacher in my district, and the 146th worst teacher in the state of Florida (out of 120,000). Previously, I had a great…

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