Saturday, April 12, 2014

SC State Board of Ed Stubbornly Approves Discredited Sham VAM

How many edublob members does it take to change a lightbulb? None, apparently. They would still be arguing over the merits of changing to wind turbines to power the light.

Despite the presence of level-headed Larry Kobrovsky and the prevalence of studies discrediting the practice, the State Board of Education, top-loaded with edublob members, voted to approve using VAM (value added measurement) for teacher evaluation. The practice treats students as though they are vehicles on a Ford assembly line. You know, one teacher adds the brake pads, another checks that the screws are tightened properly.

Here we have a situation where the assembly-line model of schooling has been discredited for decades, perhaps even a century! But schooling must now use the models provided by business.

VAM will not improve student outcomes. Where it has been used so far, the results have been erratic, to say the least. No study has shown that it has improved teaching, and year-to-year results for individual teachers have been ludicrous. Unmotivated teachers are not the problem. If someone proposed using VAM to evaluate parents instead, imagine the uproar and reasoning put forth as to why it would be unfair.

To top off its pig-headedness, the Board also voted to support Smarter Balanced testing. Let's hope the state legislature has more sense.

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