EVAAS’s Bill Sanders: “I’m Full of &$%#”

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Following up on my most recent post — about VAM developer Bill Sanders who is soon to receive a distinguished award for his TVAAS/EVAAS efforts — oh I wish how I had the technical talent to take the sign in this picture here…


…and place it on the chest of Bill Sanders in this picture here (…thanks Joe Nashville 😉


For those of you confused by this post, or for those of you who have not been following VAMboozled! for an extended period of time, click here, here, here, here, and here, for prior blog posts on this topic, for starters 😉

See also here for a research article I authored in 2008 about this particular model. See also here for a more recent article just published largely about this model, in a recent special issues on the topic of VAMs in the esteemed Educational Researcher.

See another two articles here and here about this model’s actual use (and its intended consequences, or lack thereof, and its unintended consequences, as very relevant thereof) in the Houston Independent School District.

3 thoughts on “EVAAS’s Bill Sanders: “I’m Full of &$%#”

  1. Ok, so I just read the 2008 article and can’t believe you actually published that nonsense. I don’t have time to eviscerate it all but let me start:

    1. At the time, you didn’t want them to use it because “not enough studies” had been performed. That is no longer the case. Folks can read the MET study that both validates VAMs and compares VAMs to other evaluations such as those based on observations.

    2. As you know Chetty showed that highly effective teachers have an impact on student outcomes. This is the same methodology that is used to support Head Start programs. If you question Chetty, then withdraw any support for Head Start since it uses the same premise.

    3. Next, tests show progress, effectiveness or lack thereof. If you want to change schools, we need to hire better teachers like those from TFA. See this study conducted by UNC that just happened to include TFA teachers on a lark. Btw, those TFA teachers outscored EVERY other cohort on every subject at every level. How is that for “effectiveness”.

    4. But if you really want to improve schools, hire more and better teachers like STEM graduates. Schools hide the fact that teachers only work 200 days/yr (compared to 235 days by private sector workers) and receive ~20% of their salary as pension contributions which are not factored into the reported salary scales. When you account for both of those, teachers are earning about 40% MORE than what is published. If you want better candidates to apply, publish what teachers’ actual compensation is

    5. Several studies have shown that prior scores of a student are a proxy for their parental income and education as well as other SES factors. Thus, if there are less privacy concerns but you have the same inherent factors in prior scores, there is no need to take race or income into account.

    6. Also the projected student gains are dependent on prior scores. Higher scoring students (bright) are projected to have higher gains in future years. Lower scoring students (less bright) are expected to have less growth. While the IQ comment was obviously PC-speak, students with similar scores over time basically have the same aptitude. So the models are taking these factors into account.

    After so many obvious errors and deceptive tactics, I had to stop reading. The bottom line is that schools don’t exist to employ teachers; they exist to effectively educate students. By protecting ineffective teachers through the suppression of VAMs, you are literally taking future income from the pockets of disadvantaged students and placing it in the paychecks of ineffective teachers. In a word, that is evil!

  2. Lucky for me, “free that data,” the editors and peer reviewers of the top journal in the field — Educational Researcher – agreed this articles was not at all nonsense. Nor is it still. Likewise, this is only about the EVAAS – not about Chetty (although he’s not “all that” either), not about MET, not about TFA (or the research on that, which clearly you are not following), or STEM, or about 90% on which you pontificate here. The only point you make (i.e., #6) is actually in the paper, almost word for word, as a criticism of this particular VAM – the EVAAS.

  3. From a related post on Diane Ravitch’s blog:
    “it is proprietary and other researchers are not allowed to understand how it works.”
    One of the sure signs of a crackpot.
    It’s actually an item (#20) on John Baez’ “Crackpot Index”
    “20 points for talking about how great your theory is, but never actually explaining it”….which gives Sanders a crackpot index of 25 right off the bat since there’s a 5 point “starting credit”.
    he also gets points for other stuff as well, of course

    1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
    2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous.
    3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.
    5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful correction.

    The index was designed for physics “theories”, but works for crackpot teacher evaluation theories derived from cattle growth models as well

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