VAMs in Higher Ed: Goose and Gander

A good one not to miss, from Diane Ravitch’s blog over the weekend:

Reader Chiara has a great idea. It will turn [pro-VAM] professors against VAM.

She writes:

“I’m wondering if there’s ever been any discussion of ranking teachers by student test scores in higher ed.

“It would obviously be more difficult to do, but one could use the tests that are used for graduate schools, right? How much “value” did undergrad professors add?

If you back this approach in K-12 why wouldn’t you back it in higher ed?”

Let us see the VAM scores for Raj Chetty, Jonah Rockoff, John Friedman, Thomas Kane, and all the other professors who endorse VAM. Be sure their ratings are posted in public. And while we are at it, all professors who testified against teacher tenure should give up their own tenure, On principle.

Goose and gander.

Even though the professors listed above likely do not teach many undergraduate courses, the logic is much the same, not only about using such tests to theoretically hold them (and other) professors accountable, but also regarding tenure and the protections tenure bring also in higher education. Hence, this certainly is cause for pause.

2 thoughts on “VAMs in Higher Ed: Goose and Gander

  1. See you comment on Diane’s blog. The only higher education faculty being subjected to VAM are those engaged in teacher education.

  2. Note that at my college, professors were rated by the students including providing narrative feedback. Those ratings were disseminated to future students to assist them in choosing class times and schedules. Contrary to what most folks might assume, the students provided thoughtful feedback and wanted professors who could teach effectively. Students did not want easy grades.

    Given that K-12 teachers do not conduct research, I find the tenure argument tenuous at best. But sure, publish any and all feedback about the professors. The best ones will have hordes flocking to them regardless of whether a few erroneous numbers slip by.

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