2020-21 VAM Calendar (PDF)
Florida's Value-Added Models (VAM) Frequently Asked Questions
What are Florida's Value-Added Models (VAM)?
Value-added models in general are used to measure a specific impact or influence on a performance outcome. Value-added models are used often in the areas of health care, education and economics, for example. In Florida, our value-added models are used to measure the contribution of a teacher or school to student learning growth. Our value-added models do this by measuring the difference in each student’s actual performance on a statewide assessment from that student’s expected performance, which takes into account specific student and classroom factors that impact the learning process.
Florida's value-added models for English language arts, Mathematics and Grade 9 Algebra 1 were developed and recommended by the Student Growth Implementation Committee and approved by the Commissioner of Education. For more information about the Student Growth Implementation Committee, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/performance-evaluation/student-growth-implementation-committe.stml. For information on the factors included in the model, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/7503/urlt/0102687-value-added-model-white-paper.doc (Word).
What does a VAM score mean?
VAM scores represent the amount the teacher contributed to student learning growth, on average, to the students they taught while controlling for factors that impact student learning growth.
Several scores are created each year based on the VAM model results. However, because teachers sometimes teach at more than one school, in more than one grade or subject, or may change teaching assignments from one year to the next, we combine these different scores for the same teacher across grades and subjects for up to three years into an "Aggregate VAM Score." Using the average yearly growth made by students statewide in each grade and subject, the Aggregate VAM Score may be interpreted as a proportion of that average growth. Displaying a VAM result in this manner can provide context to the number, because it represents a percentage above or below the average student growth for the year. For example, an Aggregate VAM Score of +0.25 would mean that, on average, the teacher's contribution to learning among their students resulted in scores that were 25 percent above the state average growth for that grade and subject. Conversely, an Aggregate VAM Score of -.10 would mean that, on average, the teacher's contribution to learning among their students resulted in scores that were 10 percent below the state average growth for that grade and subject. A score of 0 (zero) reflects average or typical performance where students are performing as they are expected to, on average.
Algebra 1 VAM scores are not standardized and not aggregated because there are different scales used between the Algebra 1 EOC and the prior scores incorporated into the model based on the FSA grade-level assessments. Algebra 1 VAM scores use the developmental scale of the assessment, so results are interpreted as the number of points (rather than a percentage) on the assessment above or below the expected learning growth of similar students in the state that are attributed to the teacher, while controlling for the factors used in the model. For example, if a teacher's value-added Algebra 1 score is 10, it means students taught by that teacher, on average, demonstrated learning growth of 10 points on the developmental scale higher than they were expected to, with those expectations being based on actual performance among similar students throughout the state. In this instance, "similar" means students that share the same student, classroom and school characteristics accounted for in the model. A score of 0 (zero) reflects average or typical performance where students are performing as they are expected to on average.
Lastly, data are provided to districts reflecting the number and percent of students on each teacher's roster who met or exceeded their expected score (in the example above, the blue bar being equal to or higher than the green bar would yield a "yes, met or exceeded").
Why do we have VAM?
Section 1012.34, Florida statutes requires that school districts implement personnel evaluations that are based on several criteria, one of which is the performance of each educator's students. The law allows the commissioner to select a statewide model that is based on learning growth, so that educators can be credited with improving student learning regardless of how much the student knows when he/she first enters a teacher's classroom using a measure that is consistent across districts. There are a number of ways to measure learning growth. The Student Growth Implementation Committee recommended and the Commissioner of Education approved using a value-added model (VAM) to measure learning growth for purposes of teacher evaluation, in part because of the model's capacity to reflect an individual educator's contribution to that learning growth. VAM results, along with the other components in districts' personnel evaluation systems, provide a tool for districts to more accurately evaluate teacher and principal performance. Use of the VAM data as part of the performance of student’s component in a teacher’s evaluation is optional, and is a local district decision.
Is VAM required to be used as a part of a teacher's evaluation?
How many teachers will have VAM data?
Approximately one-third of classroom teachers receive VAM scores.
Currently, VAM scores are produced for teachers of the following grades and subjects:
English Language Arts (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th)
Mathematics (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th)
Algebra I (9th and 8th grades only)
To see the complete Florida VAM course list go to https://www.flrules.org/gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-05759.
To access more detailed information on the value added model (VAM), please visit the website for State Board of Education Rule 6A-4.0411, Florida Administrative Code.
To view each district's teacher and principal evaluation systems, please visit http://www.fldoe.org/teaching/performance-evaluation/approved-dis-performance-evaluation-sy/index.stml.
For specific questions about a particular district's evaluation system, please contact the school district directly.
For more information about VAM, we invite you to view the six-minute video explaining Florida’s Value-Added Model.
Information and Resources
The following pages provide access to information and resources to support understanding of the paradigm shift in how evaluation systems are re-developed to support student learning and proficiency development for instructional personnel and school administrators.
Pursuant to section 1012.34, Florida Statutes, the purpose of district evaluation systems is to increase student learning growth by improving the quality of instructional, administrative and supervisory services in the public schools of the state. In support of this purpose:
- A performance evaluation must be conducted for each instructional employee and school administrator at least once a year and twice a year for newly hired classroom teachers in their first year of teaching in the district.
- District evaluation systems must be based upon sound educational principles and contemporary research in effective educational practices and must support continuous improvement of effective instruction and student learning growth.
- Evaluation procedures for instructional personnel and school administrators shall be based on the performance of students assigned to their classrooms or schools, as appropriate. Student performance must be measured by the required state assessments as specified in Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, and local assessments for subjects and grade levels not measured by the state.
- View Overview of Florida's Teacher Evaluation System (PDF)
The following information and resources are provided in support of district work on development and continuing improvement of evaluation systems:
- VAM and Evaluation Results Presentation 4-21-16 (PDF)
- VAM and Evaluation Results Transcript 4-21-16 (PDF)
- VAM and Evaluation Results Recording 4-21-16 (WMV)
- Approved District Performance Evaluation Systems
- Florida State Models of Evaluation Systems
- Statutes, State Board of Education Rules and FLDOE Memoranda
- Student Growth
- Community of Practice: Student Assessment and Teacher Evaluation
- Resources and Technical Assistance
- View Statewide Results of 2012-13 Evaluation Ratings 3-27-14 (PDF)