A number of readers sent us this message they have been receiving from SAS, the company that develops and deploys the secret, proprietary VAM system in Ohio
Subject: PLEASE READ - Important Message Concerning Teacher Value-Added Reports
As a precaution, the 2013-2014 Teacher Value-Added Reports that were released Tuesday are being taken down from the EVAAS website. Some of the teacher-student linkage data was not included in the analysis when the reports were produced. These reports will be corrected, verified and re-posted as soon as possible. The school and district reports will remain on the site and are accurate.
This is just one more reasons why this formula needs to be open and available for scrutiny. Educators whose careers depend upon these scores have no way of knowing if the calculations are accurate and correct. It is also another good reason why delaying the implementation of high stakes testing should be adopted, and thankfully a bill to do just that has been introduced.
To amend section 3302.036 of the Revised Code and Section 13 of Am. Sub. H.B. 487 of the 130th General Assembly to provide a three-year performance rating safe harbor for school districts and schools, to provide a three-year student academic growth rating safe harbor for teacher evaluations and when making decisions regarding teachers' employment and compensation, and to declare an emergency.
It has already attracted a number of co-sponsors, including Representatives Clyde, Bishoff, Stinziano, Hagan, R., Lundy, Hood, Gerberry, Barborak, Mallory, Slesnick, Phillips, Ramos, Foley, Cera, Antonio, Patterson, Driehaus, Sheehy, Rogers. It has also been openly welcomed by the Ohio Education Association, which represents 121,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio's public schools, colleges and universities.
“As Senator Peggy Lehner, the chair of the Senate Education Committee, has noted – ‘we are over-testing our kids’,” said OEA President Becky Higgins. “We urge state lawmakers to hit the pause button and determine which tests are actually needed and which are also appropriate for the grade level at which they’re being administered.”
OEA believes that with the use of the new Common Core standards in Ohio schools and the prospect of even more tests being conducted, it is important to take more time to make sure the implementation of these standards goes well.
“We’ve seen what has happened in other states where the hasty implementation of Common Core and the related testing has led to a backlash among parents, students and educators,” continued OEA President Higgins. “We support Ohio’s New Learning Standards, but we want to make sure Ohio gets it right. That’s why we think taking the time to ‘test the tests’ would be a prudent course to follow.”