"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, October 29, 2012

How the VAM/AGT pseudoscience worm turns

While value-added models are intended estimate teacher effects on student achievement growth, they fail to do so in any accurate or precise way — Dr. Bruce D. Baker

VAM and AGT are discredited and harmful to public educationMaybe it's karma, but Kyle Hunsberger of the Gates Foundation backed astroturf TeachPlus, and one of Los Angeles Unified School District's biggest cheerleaders of the highly discredited VAM/AGT pseudosciences, is now a victim of that selfsame modern phrenology.

This quote is pretty amazing coming from a bona fides member of the "no excuses" camp.

"I have to be reassured that I don't have to lobby for honors students," Hunsberger said. "I have to know that I have a shot at a good evaluation if I teach lower-performing kids."

Maybe he'll be a former member of that camp from here out, now that he's experienced the practical application of his faulty theoretical framework. That framework incorrectly posits that "effective" teaching "overcomes" any other factor including poverty, student motivation, or even English Language Learner status.

Call me cynical, but I doubt Michael Stryer and James Encinas, Hunsberger's TeachPlus coauthors of this fact-free Op-Ed shilling for value added measures will stand by him now that the worm has turned. Corporate reformers are just like that, they're snakes and most venomous to anyone who break ranks and start telling the truth.

Let's stop testing children and start teaching them. Standardized tests are a perversion. NCLB/RTTT/CCSS are the real "status quo" and an abject failure at that.

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