VAM–Junk Science, Redux: Forbes Article: Over A Year Ago, A Federal Court Struck Down VAM: Why Are We Still Using It To Evaluate Teachers?

junk             Interesting and important assertions from the Forbes Article on Valued Added:

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has taken a stand against VAM. The American Statistical Association has made its own statement in opposition. Gates bet big on teacher evaluation programs that included VAM, and they have just announced the large-scale failure of that project. Four years ago, when a lawsuit that pushed the state of Florida to publish VAM scores for all teachers, the Gates Foundation opposed because, among other reasons, 70% of Florida’s teacher had a VAM scored based on either subjects they didn’t teach or students they didn’t have in class.

Using VAM methods also targets certain teachers:

Teachers of English Language Learners and “highly mobile” students tend to get low VAAS scores.

From another article: VAM Arbitrary and Capricious Judge Finds a judge deemed a teacher’s VAM evaluation to be

‘arbitrary’ and ‘capricious’

So why is VAM being used at all?

VAM = Junk Science

Fifteenth poem submitted

Maybe that number is a charm.

I do remember the number 2,500, though. That was the number of contacts it took to find a full time teacher job.

Wait. No… that was when I stopped counting.

Did I get a full time teaching job? Yes I did. Took five years of hard work, and many jobs in the meantime.  I learned something from each job.  The year I had five part-time jobs was exhausting–but I loved each job.  I’m too old for that now, I think.  My head would spin when I checked my calendar.

And this is just a photo I really like.  Yay to beautiful clouds!

Best wishes to all.  11063591_1129659353714480_4688048317150249088_n

Why Strangers Wept (parked here to edit and revise) (learning to use Iphone app)

img_1235-1And from the Iphone app no less!

Why Strangers Wept

Did darkness heal or was it
holding hands at noon
with a small boy who
needed a nap?

Was it the sun
or the silence of the moon
that lifted it all, just a bit.

Maybe it was someone
who remembers
the smaller child and knew
why strangers wept.

On the street, a young girl
skipped then ran then walked
while humming, purple ribbon
escaping black hair.


Some of my poems, short stories, and nonfiction articles are included in books and magazines published in the UK, Greece, New Zealand, and the United States.

*Tuck Magazine, June 2018

Tuck Magazine

*Tuck Magazine,  May 2018


* Southernmost Point Guest House (UK)

* Journal of Modern Poetry 21 (Volume 21)

JOMP Volume 21 Dear Mr. President

* Journal of Modern Poetry 20 (Volume 20)

JOMP Volume 20 Poetry Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy

* Journal of Modern Poetry 17 (Volume 17)

JOMP Volume 17

* Magazine (New Zealand) , Raewyn Alexander, Publisher

Raewyn Alexander NZ

* Fiction in: “Between the Sunlight and the Skipping” in English Wednesdays

* Illinois English Bulletin, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English, nonfiction.