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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': )

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:

Part 2:

Part 3:
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
Roman Kossak's profile photoAllen Knutson's profile photoRichard Elwes's profile photo
I'm no expert, but I would have thought she should have a decent case if she wanted to sue.
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