Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Suggestion On How To Use A Simple "Value Added Formula" That Would Work For Teachers Who Are Teaching NYS Regents Subjects.

I am a Science teacher with an extensive background in Math and when I looked at the overly complex"value- added mathematical formula" used for the teacher data reports (TDR) and it can give one a real headache. (If you want to see what the teacher TDR "value-added formula" is, you can find it here). Obviously, there is tremendous wiggle room to apply different values for the various error-prone assumptions in the formula. While my fellow blogger JD2715 can figure it out, for the rest of us it is simply "fuzzy math" that turns our brains to mold. Is it any wonder that the "value-added formula" is considered a joke since the average error factors can be so large that a teacher rated "average" can really be rated either high or low. For example let's say that a English teacher is rated 50 (average) by the TDR but the error factor is 53%. Therefore, the teacher could be rated as low as 23.5 (below average) or 76.5 (above average). If we were to use the maximum error of 87% the teacher could be rated as low as 6.5 (the very bottom) or as high as 93.5 (the very top). This does not even account for all the error-prone factors for students that, in many cases, don't reflect reality. Is it any wonder that real educators find the teacher TDR values useless and does not show whether the teacher is realty "effective"?

While I do not want my union to negotiate with the DOE until the awful Mayor Bloomberg is no longer in office, I do suggest that the 20% of standardized test should come from the New York State Regents if we must have a "teacher evaluation system". What I recommend is that in the second week of September all teachers who are teaching classes that end with a June Regents will give all their students the previous June Regents to determine the baseline. Once, the students take the Regents at the end off the year, the two scores will be compared to determine the "value-added" for the teachers. This formula is much simpler and a more accurate indicator of how much the teacher actually added to the student learning. For example, lets say that student "A" received a 35% on the previous June Regents and achieved a 75% in the end of the year Regents. The teachers "value-added" grade for student "A" would be 40 (out of as total grade of 100). In other words, the teacher "value-added" number does not need to account for various assumptions. However, ESL and Special education students will need to be graded differently since my simple "value-added formula" may not be appropriate without some additional studies dealing with these special cohorts. My "value added formula" is as follows.

Value-added = (Post test) - (Pre test).

The only decision is how to determine the "cut scores" and that can be set based upon simple cohort analysis. Is my recommendation the perfect answer to teacher effectiveness? Of course not but it is simpler, better, and not subject to the error-prone assumptions the DOE used for the teacher TDRs and the potential that a similar complicated mathematical formula will be used for the "teacher evaluation process".


Anonymous said...

Just my 2รง - wouldnt add any helpful suggestions, to the toxic stew that is value added measurements, no matter how well intentioned. it is all wrong, all unfair - why help them wage war against teachers?

Anonymous said...

NYSUT didn't drop their lawsuit for nothing. A deal has already been worked out-we just don't know the specifics. We do know that it is the end of any type of real tenure protections. 2 U ratings and PIP Plus and your out-period.

Anonymous said...

At least the Nazi's were nice enough to supply you with a shovel to dig your own grave. These motherfuckers want us to bring our own shovels.

NYCDOEnuts said...

Actually, in the days before the final solution, the Nazis made the Polish dig their own graves. So there's that.

Anonymous said...

Chaz: You have some ideas, but no one is listening and Annon 10:05 pm has a point.
We need to get rid of the UFT one school at a time and negotiate for ourselves. The problem is who is going to do that for us?

Anonymous said...

Well, at least there's some good news today. They're firing some of the principals that used Danielson to ruin our lives for the last number of months.
They'll all probably get better jobs by kissing ass like they've been doing under Bloomie, but at least they'll start to feel some of the anxiety they've been subjecting us to.
Interesting note to Chaz: Students that let their pants droop are doing it out of solidarity towards jailbirds, who aren't allowed to wear belts in prison. I got this from a corrections officer.

Jeff Kaufman said...

Sorry Chaz while I agree with a lot of the sentiment expressed in the comments I have to add that using a prior Regents exam as a baseline makes no sense. If the course was cummulative that might make a little sense but Regents courses generally teach fairly new concepts. How would you grade a social studies essay if the students on their baseline exams never learned the basics of essay writing or most of the content necessary to write an essay. A physics baseline exam is a real joke. Using your logic it would make better sense to start everyone off with "assume no knowledge" baseline and improvement based on the final regents score. Of course this assumes that the regents is an accurate measure for teacher evaluation....which it is not. You need to send this suggestion back wherever it came from.

Chaz said...

Fiursdt, let me be clear. I do not believe any "teacher evaluation procedure" will be fair and should not be implemented. However,assuming one is implemented, it seems some of the comments question the use of a Regents baseline and I do admit there are issues in using this approach. I would like to point out that I do not for a minute believe that the DOE will come up with a fair evaluation procedure and certainly not assume that the incoming students will know nothing as a baseline.

Until somebody comes up with a fair evaluation method that is more accurate, I will stick to my proposal.

Anonymous said...


The moment you suggest improvements to the 'value added model' is the moment you suggest there is any validity to ANY 'value added model".
Separate and apart from the 'value added' junk science is the equally misguided notion that the Regents exam is a valid test of teacher effectiveness - heck it is not even a valid measure of student learning! Thus we have two fatal flaws in any 'value added' model utilizing state exams.
For once I strongly disagree with you!

Chaz said...


You are missing the point. If we are to have a "teacher evaluation system" you need to make sure it is fair and accurate. Do you really think the DOE will develop one that is fair or accurate? Sticking your hand in the sand and hoping that the "teacher evaluation system" will disappear is really wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

"Sanity is not statistical"-George Orwell