William Sanders, a pioneer in the early implementation of value-added measurement in Tennessee, was an agricultural statistician when he realized that children could be measured in their test score growth like cattle or corn, and that teachers could be held responsible for that growth in test scores from year to year. His TVASS system was adopted by Tennessee in 1993. If it worked as its proponents devoutly believe, Tennessee should be #1 in the nation in test scores by now. It is not. It is not even close.


Our blog poet, who calls him/herself “SomeDam Poet,” wrote the following ode to Professor Sanders:


“If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” — Isaac Newton, who invented differential calculus and wrote down what are now known as Newton’s Laws of Motion


“If I have seen fodder, it is by standing on the horns of cattle” — William Sanders, who first applied VAM for cattle to teachers and wrote down Sanders’ Laws of Self-promotion and teacher demotion