Plenty of flaws have been found in using Value-Added Measurement for teacher evaluations (see The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation).
Paul Bruno recently tweeted out a link to a new study that found another one — and it’s a flaw that most teachers knew already, but it’s nice to have research backing it up.
Here’s an excerpt from the abstract of Disruptive peers and the estimation of teacher value added:
Yup, those of us who have a reputation of being able to relate better to students with many challenges would get penalized for that ability under VAM…
Speaking of VAM, I had another thought when writing this post — though there are plenty of university researchers who have found lots of problems with VAM, there are still some who praise it.
I wonder how many of them would like to have VAM used to evaluate their teaching on the university level?
It’s not just teachers with a reputation for being able to relate to students who are affected. Often inexperienced teachers are given the lowest level students in remedial/intensive classes. Students with severe behavioral issues are often in these classes (in a chicken and egg type thing it is sometimes unclear if the behavioral issues affect their academics or vice versa). Meanwhile, more established teachers are often the ones teaching on-level or higher classes with fewer students who have severe behavioral issues.
Great point, Neil!