When school administrators perform teacher evaluations, they want a system that is efficient, accurate, and fair. They want a system that can help their teachers grow since they know that will help their students grow. Many districts use VAMs, or Value Added Measures, as a way to evaluate their teachers and giving a statistical view of a teacher’s performance. VAMs also have a big impact on teacher evaluation scores and may not reflect a teacher’s effectiveness with complete accuracy.
What are VAMs?
VAMs, or Value Added Measures, are statistical models designed to measure a teacher’s influence on student achievement over time. The measurements are made using students’ standardized test score results. A student’s standardized test scores are analyzed at the beginning of the year and then compared to the student’s results on standardized tests at the end of the year.
A higher score shows that value was added and that the teacher was effective in having a positive effect on student learning. A lower score shows that the teacher had a negative effect on student learning.
How do VAMs impact teacher evaluation scores?
VAMs impact teacher evaluation scores since the system is designed to judge a teacher’s effectiveness by looking at students’ standardized test results. Supporters of VAMs find it a good way to help in making workforce decisions. They also see it as a good way to target a teacher’s professional development needs since the detailed results can focus on areas where a teacher may be lacking.
On the other hand, with VAM’s reliance on standardized test scores, the system misses out on other factors that may be influencing student academic achievement and progress. The system does not take into account factors that teachers cannot control, such as student ability, family income, the educational attainment of parents, or the influence of peer groups.
As a result, administrators who are rating educators may not be seeing the whole picture, giving inaccurate ratings that are not fair to the teachers. In effect, these inaccuracies can lead to misjudgments in tenure and hiring decisions. Further, it can lead to teacher attrition, since administrators may be letting go of teachers who are actually competent.
How does SFS evaluate teachers with a broader perspective?
Ideally, administrators want data from VAMs and other measurements to be combined into one efficient, accurate, and fair system. Standard for Success Teacher Evaluation software does this. SFS can customize its software for any state or district-approved rubric. The software also accommodates many widely accepted rubrics, such as 5D+, Thoughtful Classroom, Danielson, Culture in the Classroom, and McRel.
SFS Teacher Evaluation software will help administrators identify a teacher’s strengths and areas that need improvement. It also offers recommended professional development options. The software is cloud-based and customizable to each school’s particular needs.
Ultimately, SFS Teacher Evaluation software – built by educators for educators – helps schools to develop better teachers, better students, and a better world.