Gates Foundation opposes release of teachers’ VAM scores

Join the Future was highly critical of the Plain Dealer and NPR when they published a small set of teachers value-add scores. Recently in Florida, a court case forced the Florida Department of Education to publish the value-add scores of their teachers too. In response to this, the Gates Foundation, via their K-12 Education Director, Vicki Phillips, issued this statement condemning this kind of public shaming

We at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation oppose the public release of individual teacher information because there is no evidence to suggest it will lead to improvement in teacher performance. It will not attract new intelligent and passionate individuals to the profession, and it will not make our schools more effective.

Teacher performance evaluations can only translate into better schools when they deliver concrete, personalized feedback that helps each individual teacher become more effective. These evaluations should include feedback from a variety of sources, and, perhaps most obviously, these individual evaluations must be kept private. As we’ve seen before, publicizing individual performance data may undermine the very work that could help empower teachers and improve our schools.