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Saturday, March 15, 2014

My personal VAM story

Two years ago when Florida first started including VAM data my overall evaluation was on the low side of effective. I was at a new school and quite frankly they didn’t know what to do with me. I co-taught, was the librarian and then around Thanksgiving more than half way through the second nine weeks I was given a class of kids with behavior problems with a mandate to straighten them out (I teach at a school for profoundly disabled children and adults, I say adults because students at my school can stay under they are 22). 

I was a little disappointed but I didn’t think much of it. My second year evaluation flip-flopped and suddenly I was on the high end of effective. What was the difference? My kids that’s what and I am not talking bout the kids I was teaching.

I didn’t know it at the time but much of my VAM data the first year came from kids at a school I no longer taught at. That’s right, even though I had been at my new school from the first day of pre-planning; students at my old school were still being credited to me.

When I found out about this I wrote my district and this was our exchange. 
My 11-12 student list is incorrect it has me teaching kids who had no growth at a school I know longer worked at.


Unfortunately, FLDOE only allows the schools to make correction to FTE survey data for short correction windows, immediately following the survey period.  So for 1112 and 1213, the schools can no longer correct the data. 

For 1314 corrections I believe that the corrections can be made for a while longer. Your CRT operator should know.  So it is important to ensure that the students list under my accountability in myproile are correct.

Sorry I can’t do more to help with the issue.

The guy got back to me very quickly and was very nice but um, isn’t this 2014? Couldn’t they just hit alt F2 or something and fixed it up? Apparently not. Like I said at the beginning, I was at the low end of effective so it doesn’t really matter, but what about for teachers who similar errors would have made a difference?

The things that VAM is supposed to do make money decisions and employment decisions are to important to be left to as Diane Ravitch called it, Junk Science.

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