We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The government finds itself here in a real pickle. Virginia has drawn a clear line that accounts for all the existing cases, so that no precedent has to be overruled to strike down this legislation. On the other hand, to uphold it invites the government to force me to buy everything from exercise machines to bicycles, because there is always some good that the coercive use of state authority can advance. The ironic point is that this is not a commerce clause argument as such, for in my view any state statute would be subject to the same objection even though the state has plenary police powers.
Count the number of ambiguous if, but, maybe, kinda-sorta statements and you'll get the idea that Value Added Modeling cannot account for subjective factors in education. If you don't want to wade through the whole thing (and it is a little difficult in places), just look at the chapter/sub-chapter headings to get an idea. It is a modeling nightmare that has not improved in the 7 years since that report was written.
I'm not against evaluating teachers on an objective basis. The problem is the nature of the objective measurement. Standard testing? Yeah - in general that works sometimes as a good method, but that is also a variable from one year to the next. The only true method of evaluating teacher effectiveness is after the fact - meaning how well the student applies what the student has learned. And that can be demonstrated years later. Passing a test only demonstrates that one can pass a test - it does not mean that the learning is effective and can be applied to life and further learning.
I look at it this way. If we are going to require holding one profession to a Value Added Model, shouldn't we hold other professions to the same? Doctors, surgeons, attorneys for starters. Wanna make a bet that the various "professional associations" (read as Unions only more polite) would be hollering bloody murder if a similar proposal was made?
All of those people are graded, mainly by word of mouth.
Politicians are graded by voters. Private employees are publicly graded by pay and advancement or firing and demotion.
The issue with public employees is that the taxpayers are the employers. The employers would like some way, however inadequate, of knowing how their employees are performing.
With teachers, as a rule, people in a community know who the great ones are anyway. By word of mouth.
Good a time as any to post this C.S. Lewis quote (apropos Obamacare):
"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."