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This is an important one, of interest to anyone involved in education. It urgently needs to be read by policy-makers. (Happily it seems to be doing the rounds, and comes via +Izabella Laba , +Qiaochu Yuan , +David Roberts, +Willie Wong , and others.)

Value Added Modelling (VAM) is a way to judge the effectiveness of school teachers. Or at least it is meant to be. It is used in New York state, among other places, and - this needs to be stressed - teachers' VAM scores genuinely effect their careers in terms of promotion, retention, bonuses, etc. (And that's before they get savaged in the press for being 'New York's Worst Teacher': http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/cursed_with_the_worst_in_queens_f5wLhEdDRN1Wl9h1GQgxAM )

So, what exactly does VAM measure? The short answer, as provided by Gary Rubinstein in a brilliant series of blog-posts where he crunches the New York VAM statistics, is nothing whatsoever.

Read them, pass them on.

Part 1: http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/02/26/analyzing-released-nyc-value-added-data-part-1/

Part 2: http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/02/28/analyzing-released-nyc-value-added-data-part-2/

Part 3: http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/03/06/analyzing-released-nyc-value-added-data-part-iii/
In part 1 I demonstrated there was little correlation between how a teacher was rated in 2009 to how that same teacher was rated in 2010. So what can be more
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I'm no expert, but I would have thought she should have a decent case if she wanted to sue.
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