I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, December 31, 2010

The VAM Draft

I'm looking at this graph again, courtesy of Tino Sanandaji:

Now, keep in mind that Michele Rhee and Chris Christie and Chris Cerf and all the other 'formers want to use Value-Added Modeling (VAM) to rate teachers and either give bonuses and rescind tenure based on those ratings.

Looking at the graph above, let's imagine what happens the day a principal announces the class lists for next year's fifth grade. Do you think that teachers might be looking at last names, trying to figure out ethnicity? Do you think they may put pressure on the principal to do some horse trading?

We're going to turn class assignments into the equivalent of fantasy baseball leagues. And this will be good for the kids...

How exactly?


Anonymous said...

Nice of you to join Christie in teacher bashing. As a teacher I can tell you that while you can make a case for or against students being in your class, it's limited in scope and usually has to have some reasons to back it up. Even then, you might move one or two kids.

No, the real problem (which you half get) is that a particular school will have a population that might not match. Not to mention the fact that school funding is local - poor town poor school - and a poor town usually has a lot of people of lower socioeconomic status does it not? So, one school will have motivated students and a healthy budget, and the other will not.

You see the problem but you don't seem to see past it's the fault of the teachers, at least to some degree.

Duke said...

I don't know how you could interpret my post as "teacher bashing." I am quite clearly saying that using VAM will be a disaster because it ignores factors outside of the teacher's control.

Yes, right now, you can maybe move a kid or two on a class list. What happens when VAM is used to make desicions about tenure, RIFing, and merit pay? The incentive to move a kid gets much bigger.

Maybe I stated my position inartfully, but I don't think so.

And read the rest of the blog - I'm hardly a "teacher basher."