Audrey Amrein-Beardsley noticed an interesting pattern among the states that won Race to the Top funding.

Most were states with highly inequitable school finance systems, as noted by the Education Law Center of New Jersey.

But Beardsley saw other correlations.

She writes:

“In this case, correlational analyses reveal that state-level policies that rely at least in part on VAMs are indeed more common in states that allocate less money than the national average for schooling as compared to the nation. More specifically, they are more likely found in states in which yearly per pupil expenditures are lower than the national average (as demonstrated in the aforementioned post). They are more likely found in states that have more centralized governments, rather than those with more powerful counties and districts as per local control. They are more likely to be found in more highly populated states and states with relatively larger populations of poor and racial and language minority students. And they are more likely to be found in red states in which residents predominantly vote for the Republican Party.”

These were the states most willing to evaluate teachers by test scores (VAM), despite the absence of evidence for doing so.