VAM: “My life’s work will be reduced to one word based on a single test on a single day. We are more than this.” ~ Ohio Teacher

Dear Bill and Melinda,

A teacher sent us a message about a one of the new systems of reform you have pushed into place: Value Added Measures. There have been many before me who have written about this as “junk science” and have provided the evidence to prove it.

Yet this teacher has something else to say about the article from Ohio state called: Grading the Teachers: Search Value Added Grades for 4,200 Ohio Teachers.

She writes:

“Sure. I love teaching. I love inspiring confidence in children and watching them grow into brave learners. Once a few years ago a former student of mine who had just graduated college ran in to me at the grocery. He had struggled some in elementary school. He told me, “I just want to thank you for helping me know that I was ok, that it was alright to be me.”

That was my finest hour as a teacher. There have been many other moments of pride in my career, but none of the great ones are connected to standardized test results. My name is not on that list, but it will be soon. My life’s work will be reduced to one word based on a single test on a single day. That is truly a tragedy, be the word positive or negative. We are more than this.” ~ Anonymous Teacher in Ohio

We agree: Value Added Measures are “junk science”. We agree: “Our life’s work will be reduced to one word based on a single test on a single day.” We agree: That is truly a tragedy. And we definitely agree: We are much more than this.

What do you think, Bill and Melinda, are we more than one word based on a single test on a single day? Is that really what you think of our life’s work?

Teachers’ Letters to Bill Gates

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About Highlighting Members' Needs

We are running for the following Renton Education Association positions because we believe in the following planks: Becca Ritchie, Candidate for REA President, Nelsen Middle School, Computer Tech Susan DuFresne, Candidate for Primary Executive Board, Maplewood Heights Elementary, Integrated Kindergarten ✅  Demanding a healthy work-load/life balance. ✅  Bargaining competitive professional compensation. ✅  Challenging the status quo test culture with: Less is more! ✅  Emphasizing our professional expertise. ✅  Prioritizing equity and access for all. ✅  Utilizing 2-way 21st century communication tools. ✅  Acting in solidarity with all unions. ✅  Supporting ALL members. ✅   Implementing developmentally appropriate K-3 curriculum/assessment.
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One Response to VAM: “My life’s work will be reduced to one word based on a single test on a single day. We are more than this.” ~ Ohio Teacher

  1. Thanks for destroying my teaching career of 26 years. Before you attack teachers with meaningless VAM scores, train Superintendents to be CEO’s, who are Chief Executive Officers instead of Chief Educator Officers, creating charter schools that are just a bunch of bungalows put together and call it a school, spend an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year or make that 25 years in an inner city public school and then we can talk about education reform.

    What I see is more like education deform.

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