Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Deconstructing Louisiana’s Legislative Report on Value-Added Modeling
Wade Smith & Adam C. Elder

As of 2019, thirty-four states were requiring an objective measure of student growth as part of their teacher evaluation efforts (National Council on Teacher Quality, 2019). Louisiana is one of those states and state law requires a report to be given to the legislature detailing the progress of Value-Added Modeling (VAM) for teacher evaluations. This paper focuses on the information that can and cannot be found in the legislative report. Additionally, the research reports on the conclusions derived from the information provided and their limitations. The full paper documents several shortcomings considered essential to have a complete understanding of the actual state of affairs for VAM in Louisiana. The shortcomings include the use of methodologies that are known to introduce noise into the results, the lack of critical information necessary to evaluate the reliability and stability of the VAM model, and the amount of variance explained by the model. The findings discussed in this paper have important implications for VAM policy and research in Louisiana specifically as well as in states that use VAM generally.

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