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Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:43 PM

 

A ‘value-added’ travesty for an award-winning teacher

This picture just popped up on FB for me this morning, and a link to the story finally emerged. THIS IS SO WRONG.





Here’s the crazy story of Kim Cook, a teacher at Irby Elementary, a K-2 school which feeds into Alachua Elementary, for grades 3-5, just down the road in Alachua, Fla. She was recently chosen by the teachers at her school as their Teacher of the Year.

Her plight stems back to last spring when the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 736, which mandates that 40 percent of a teacher’s evaluation must be based on student scores on the state’s standardized tests, a method known as the value-added model, or VAM. It is essentially a formula that supposedly tells how much “value” a teacher has added to a student’s test score. Assessment experts say it is a terrible way to evaluate teachers but it has still been adopted by many states with the support of the Obama administration.

Since Cook’s school only goes through second grade, her school district is using the FCAT scores from the third graders at Alachua Elementary School to determine the VAM score for every teacher at her school.

<snip>

This is her second year at Irby Elementary, where she teaches first grade. She never taught a single student who took the FCAT at Alachua Elementary last spring. The same will hold true for this year’s evaluation; 40 percent of her appraisal will be based on the scores of students she has never taught.



Essentially, she will be evaluated on test scores from students who have never even been in her classroom. However, the student scores are automatically made a part of her eval (40%) and she received an unsatisfactory rating as a consequence. The FEA website has this to say about the outcome of the ratings:

"Every teacher will be evaluated using the new evaluation criteria and student learning growth. Veteran teachers must demonstrate Highly Effective or Effective performance; if they are rated unsatisfactory two consecutive or two out of three years, they will be placed on an annual contract then, if there is no improvement, terminated."


Down with VAM!

11 replies, 1589 views

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Reply A ‘value-added’ travesty for an award-winning teacher (Original post)
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 OP
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #1
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #2
Smarmie Doofus Dec 2012 #3
mbperrin Dec 2012 #4
LWolf Dec 2012 #5
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #6
LWolf Dec 2012 #10
madfloridian Dec 2012 #7
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #8
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #9
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #11

Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:21 PM

1. Another stupid Idea from politicians

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:30 PM

2. Down with ...

"business people" attempting to apply for-profit business modeling to all non-profit/governmental entities.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:40 PM

3. The barbarians are at the gate. It's happening everywhere, although Fla .....

always seems to be in the front of the pack when it come to stupid ed policy.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:41 PM

4. VAM - if you can find a dumber idea, they'll use it instead.

My foreign exchange student from China told me this morning, "In our country, teachers are respected."

About says it all.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:25 AM

5. I'll second that.

Down with VAM.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:39 AM

6. I was hoping some of our "how else will we evaluate???!!!111" posters might chime in.

 

How do we get a real picture of the teacher's performance from test scores that were assigned to her eval, from students she never taught? There must be some science-y plan, right?

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 08:46 AM

10. My plan

is to evaluate the learning opportunities offered, and the student/teacher/parent interactions.

By observing them.

No test scores at all, since those are the product of many factors teachers don't affect, and aren't necessarily reliable, anyway.

Probably not science-y enough.

Not that my plan would ever make it out the door, lol.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:55 PM

7. Oops, I forgot to check the ed forum..posted it way after you did.

I usually just go to the GD forum, and I missed this. Sorry about the duplicate post.



Outrageous, isn't it?

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 02:04 PM

8. More coverage is always good!

 

Good to see you!!

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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:00 PM

9. Unbelievable.

I also just learned that when a kid isn't enrolled in their neighborhood school (sped kids, and other special program kids) his test score counts against both the school where he is enrolled and the neighborhood school he would attend if he wasn't in the special program. That's a fed requirement.

Think about this for a minute. Kids in special programs aren't going to be high achievers. And we count their test scores twice???

We're so screwed.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 09:33 AM

11. That's complete insanity.

 

I can't wrap my head around his dumb this crap is.

I notice no pro-VAM people have weighed in either. I really want to hear the justifications for schools and teachers being evaluated on scores by students who have never been in their school or classroom.

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