I, like many other educators, have been a vocal critic of using Value Added Measurement to evaluate teachers (see The Best Resources For Learning About The “Value-Added” Approach Towards Teacher Evaluation).
I’ve also felt that schools should not be run like businesses (see The Best Posts & Articles Explaining Why Schools Should Not Be Run Like Businesses).
But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from the corporate sector.
I’ve previously posted about how companies have begun moving away from their own version of VAM ratings (see Microsoft Eliminates Its Own Destructive VAM Rankings; However, Gates Still Seems Focused On Using It For Us).
Now, today, The New York Times published an article covering that increasing trend, Morgan Stanley to Rate Employees With Adjectives, Not Numbers.
Here’s an excerpt:
Obviously, the numbers evaluations corporations are moving away from are not an exact “apples-to-apples” comparison to VAM, but it seems to me that there are enough similarities to make VAM proponents to take a look…
What do you think?
It seems like a worthy VAM would include teacher-learning outcomes that (based on the literature) support higher student achievement. A VAM should represent the relationship between student and teacher behaviors as they relate to current literature within the context of local support offered by the institution, district, etc. A VAM is hardly valid, reliable, and unbiased if it only includes a single indicator (e.g., test results)… few would accept any conclusions from a study on learning based on one data source. We expect a triangulation of data sources when doing research, as we should expect a triangulation of data sources when measuring outcomes that link to inferences made towards teaching efficiencies and effectiveness. The question then becomes whether such a measurement can be standardized…
The simplest way to quantify the evaluation of teachers is to put a camera on the ceiling of the gym and have students sign up for the teachers and classes that they want. The teachers with the longest lines are probably going to be your better teachers. I have long believed that students are probably the best judges of who the better teachers are since they are with those teachers every day.
Second, the main reason we want to identify the who the better teachers are is so that the profession can learn from them. I want to know what makes the best teachers great so I can be a better teacher and so that my students can learn more.
Dean Smith, Ph.D.
Big Spring High School
Newville, PA 17241