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Open Access Publications from the University of California

VAM-Based Teacher Evaluation Policies: Ideological Foundations, Policy Mechanisms, and Implications

  • Author(s): Holloway-Libell, Jessica
  • Collins, Clarin
  • et al.

For the first time in history, many states, districts, and administrators, are now required to evaluate teachers by methods that are up to 50% based on their “value-added,” as demonstrated at the classroom-level by growth on student achievement data over time. In this critical literature review, the authors use a three-tier framework to review VAM-based literature, reports, and U.S. education policies to examine this controversial topic of teacher evaluation that continues to sweep the nation. The authors argue that, given the current problems with VAMs in terms of reliability, validity, bias, and fairness, as well as the lack of evidence that previous accountability policies have worked to alleviate the root causes of low educational quality, it is hard to make a legitimate claim that VAM-based teacher evaluation policies will work in their intended ways.

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