Anti-VAM Fever Spikes in LA

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With flu season upon us, those of us rolling up our sleeves for vaccinations do so knowing that the shot isn't 100% certain to keep those aches and chills at bay. That said, few people opt for bloodletting and leeches when they take issue with a flu shot's effectiveness.

Although LAUSD's decision to use teachers' raw performance data instead of individual value-added (VAM) scores is not quite the same as choosing medieval remedies over modern ones, it's still a giant step backwards in the appropriate and effective use of data in teacher evaluations. See Chad Aldeman's smart take on why turning to raw performance data because of perceived problems with the year-to-year variability in VAM scores is not smart.

And a heads-up: We've gotten wind from the Fall 2012 conference of the Society for Research on Educator Effectiveness that soon-to-be-published research indicates that VAM scores can be strong predictors of average career performance even if they vary considerably from year to year.