AIR’s Connections to Florida’s “Miserable” VAM Scores

Lakeland Ledger columnist Glenn Marston dug deeper into Florida’s new testing contractor:

More concerning about AIR’s Florida connections is the miserable teacher-grading program it created for the state, known as the value-added model.

The inconclusive teacher evaluations are useless.

The Tampa Bay Times reported March 1 that teachers of the year and finalists for teacher of the year in Central Florida got scores from minus 36.87 percent to 21.61 percent.

“After what happened with the VAM, I’m just not comfortable with AIR,” said Jeff Wright of the Florida Education Association, reported the Times on Monday.

Florida would have been better off if it could have kept politics out of its educational decisions. Common Core and PARCC, as the state originally planned, made more sense.

Marston’s opinion appears to be the conventional wisdom among the state’s editorial boards in that Common Core was just fine and that those loathsome tea party folks backed Rick Scott into a corner. His point of view that PARCCC would have been better is contradicted by his labeling of test-based VAM scores as “miserable.” And New York’s Common Core-PARCC meltdown  justifiably spooked Florida lawmakers, too.

Common Core is not – and cannot be considered as – a stand alone reform.  It had to be stuffed into multiple accountability systems which have already demonstrated at best to be unreliable. The Core-AIR tests-VAM cocktail easily draws the question which asks “can it be anything but a failure?”




About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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