I am in favor of paying students according to their merit, but the system still has to work. If it doesn’t make sense, it certainly doesn’t sufficiently reward the best teachers. This video shows what happens when legislators configure a shoddy system of tying a teacher’s worth with data from standardised testing.
By next year, salary raises for all Florida public school teachers will depend in part on how their students perform on the state’s standardized tests.
But there’s been lots of controversy about how Florida measures students’ progress using something called a “value-added model,” or VAM.
Last month, an Indian River County teacher named Luke Flynt raised a major issue with the state’s model, which tries to measure teachers’ impact on students by assigning students predicted scores and then measuring whether they exceeded them.
Flynt’s issue: In some cases, students’ expected scores are “literally impossible.” He tells school board members:
“One of my sixth-grade students had a predicted score of 286.34. However, the highest a sixth-grade student can earn earn is 283. The student did earn a 283, incidentally. Despite the fact that she earned a perfect score, she counted negatively toward my valuation…
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