While a few people really understand the VAM algorithm, there is a consensus that teachers who teach in high poverty schools with English Language Learners and Special Education students will be at a disadvantage when the VAM is used to evaluate the teacher..
The teachers most negatively affected by the VAM will be those teachers who have "high needs students" which includes the following cohorts:
- High poverty students.
- Academically & behaviorally challenged students .
- Special education & English Language Learners.
- Dysfunctional families and homelessness.
Finally, the VAM will pit teacher against teacher as no teacher will accept "high need students" transferred from another class during the school year without an iron-clad guarantee that the student's academic progress is not included in the teacher's evaluation.
I cannot see how the VAM accounts for real student growth. Certainly it does not account for real student learning or achievement and does not account for some of the intangibles like this.
In summary, the VAM algorithm that will be used for the teacher evaluation is inaccurate, unreliable, and meaningless and with too many fudge factors. For further details on the NYS VAM algorithm please see Gary Rubinstein's blog. Why would any sane person agree to link their job performance to this "junk science"?