In Commonwealth Magazine, Mass Ed Secrtetary James Peyser opines:

In order to receive or renew a professional license, teachers should be evaluated on their demonstrated classroom competencies and actual work products (lesson plans, for example), along with samples of student assignments and indicators of learning gains…

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And on the other hand: A teacher with a high VAM score one year is likely to have a lower VAM Score the next year even if she uses the same teaching method both years:

If value added test scores were reliable, we would expect that teachers who have high scores one year would have high scores the next year. In other words, the good teachers would be good teachers from year to year and the bad teachers would be bad teachers from year to year. But this is not what actually happens. Good teachers one year, according to VAM, could be bad teachers the next year. VAM is no better than a coin toss at predicting which teachers are the good teachers. Teachers rated as being in the top third of all teachers one year are often in the bottom third the next year…

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Finally, the MTA and the AFTMA collaborated to sponsor a Let Teachers Teach: Cut Red Tape in Schools ad in the Boston Globe last week. See the ad.