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Topic: "Value added measures -- what's your experience?"

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Topic started by: Brian Drayton on 1/22/14

Last week's "MSP News" featured several articles on value-added measures. Despite continuing methodological issues, various versions of this approach to studying teacher effectiveness are widespread and popular. Have you designed VAM? Used them? Experienced them? What do you think?

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posted by: Brian Drayton on 1/22/2014 2:58 pm

The MSP news for Jan 16th announced several new library items on value added measures (VAMs). We had a discussion about them a few years ago, and at the time it seemed to me the methodological issues (relating to attributing student gains to teacher actions) seemed crippling. As one among several data points about a teacher's performance, they might well have some merit--but just as with standardized tests, there is a powerful tendency to rely on such numbers to the exclusion of more labor-intensive and subtle metrics. But I have not lived with a VAM; maybe I'm being too skeptical?

American Stat Soc on VAMs

posted by: Brian Drayton on 4/28/2014 2:09 pm

The American Statistical Association has just released a position statement on Value Added Models and their appropriate use. It is a model of clear and careful language. It should be read with attention by people using VAMs for school improvement, to hear what the statisticians say about what can and cannot be discovered by them, and where they can fit in the overall process of school evaluation.

Thanks - this is useful

posted by: Bill Zoellick on 4/29/2014 7:59 am

Thanks, Brian. This is a really useful position statement. I will circulate it around a number of districts that are just now thinking about swimming out into these deep waters and powerful currents. Maybe this will help encourage caution.