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Topic: The Holes in the Chetty et al VAM Study as Seen by the ASA
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
The Holes in the Chetty et al VAM Study as Seen by the ASA
Posted: Aug 12, 2014 1:58 PM
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From Diane Ravitch's blog [A site to discuss better education for
all], Monday, August 11, 2014. See
The Holes in the Chetty et al VAM Study as Seen by the American
Statistical Association

By Diane Ravitch

This is an important article, which criticizes and deconstructs the
notorious VAM study by Chetty et al. I refer to it as notorious
because it was reported on the first page of the New York Times
before it was peer-reviewed; it was immediately presented on the PBS
Newshour; and President Obama referred to its findings in his State
of the Union address only weeks after it first appeared.

These miraculous events do not happen by accident. The study made
grand claims for the importance of value-added measures of teacher
quality, a keystone of Obama's education policy. One of the authors
told the New York Times that the lesson of the study was to fire
teachers sooner rather than later. A few months ago, the American
Statistical Association reacted to the study, not harshly, but made
clear that the study was overstated, that the influence of teachers
on the variability of test scores ranged from 1-14%, and that changes
in the system would likely have more influence on students' academic
outcomes than attaching the scores of students to individual teachers.

I have said it before, and I will say it again: VAM is Junk Science.
Looking at children as machine-made widgets and looking at learning
solely as standardized test scores may thrill some econometricians,
but it has nothing to do with the real world of children, learning,
and teaching. It is a grand theory that might net its authors a Nobel
Prize for its grandiosity, but it is both meaningless in relation to
any genuine concept of education and harmful in its mechanistic and
reductive view of humanity.

See entire article in the attachment ...

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