If anyone is wondering why the “bad” teacher crisis remains central to what political leaders want the public to hear, South Carolina offers a heaping dose of why: Political leaders are enormously incompetent and need us all to remain distracted from that fact.
The changes described in this document will result in a support and evaluation system that is valid, reliable, and fair and that will
…use multiple valid measures (including but not limited to observations, professional practice, and student growth) in determining performance levels, with data on student growth for all students (including English Language Learners and students with disabilities) being a significant factor in the calculation of the overall effectiveness score (growth measure for teachers of tested grades and subjects include growth based on statewide assessments as a component)….
Of course, the most important point here is that VAM (teacher evaluations based on student test scores, or now euphemistically “student growth”) has been proven again and again to fail against the measures of “valid, reliable, and fair.”
SC political leadership has emphasized that their hands are tied because of federal mandates linked to opting out of NCLB and the lure of “filthy lucre” promised therein—a baffling stance taken by a state infamous for taking the most preposterous stances just to shun the federal government.
It is well past time to stop listening to political leaders who have no credibility (hint: If you hear a politician or read a politician, you are in the presence of one who has no clue) and to turn our gazes away from the distractions (hint: “bad” teachers are not the problem).
It is time to invoke the Oliver Rule about claims about and policies including VAM; thus, here is the enormous body of evidence so far refuting VAM (see related research cited within the following):
- Devaluing Teachers in the Age of Value-Added
- VAMboozled by Empty-Suit Leadership in SC
- VAM Fails Test, Again: The Bizarro World of Education Reform
- What We Know Now (and How It Doesn’t Matter)
- Conservative Leadership Poor Stewardship of Public Funds
- NFL again a Harbinger for Failed Education Reform?
- VAM: A Primer
- Review [UPDATED]: “How to Evaluate and Retain Effective Teachers” (League of Women Voters of SC)
There is, however, a growth we should be concerned about because it is cancerous; that growth is VAM. Let’s remove it before it spreads.