Mercedes Schneider prepared a paper explaining value-added modeling, now widely promoted for evaluating teachers. She wrote it for legislators in Louisiana, who have been passing laws mandating VAM without understanding how inaccurate it is. This paper could be used to brief legislators in every state. Also policymakers at your State Education Department, also the U.S. Department of Education.

She introduces the paper as follows:

“Dear Lousiana Senators:
I have written a paper explaining value added modeling (VAM) issues based upon an examination of the Noell and Gleason VAM study presented to the Louisiana legislature in February 2011. I based my paper in part on a detailed Power Point presentation I gave as guest speaker at the Louisiana Association of Parish Textbook Administrators (LAPTA) conference in November 2012. In this current writing, I have removed some of the technical language in order to provide a smoother read.
VAM is highly problematic. I thank you for your time in reading the attached paper. Please contact me if I can offer any additional clarification.
Thank you.
–Mercedes K. Schneider, Ph.D.
Applied Statistics and Research Methods”