Moving forward while looking back: Lessons learned from teacher evaluation litigation concerning Value-Added Models (VAMs)
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) appears to offer states and districts discretion to develop teacher evaluation policies, including those that may use Value Added Models (VAMs). While scholars are discussing this flexibility, limited attention has been paid to the potential role of the law in connection with the future use of VAMs in evaluation policy. While VAMs may be declining in use, several states require or permit them, making the continued assessment relevant. Moreover, given that VAMs were at the center of numerous high-profile lawsuits, assessing litigation outcomes in the context of ESSA is a useful exercise, particularly for jurisdictions that may use (or contemplate their use) of VAMs. Toward this end, this paper applies legal research methods and a law and policy framework to review lawsuits concerning VAMs to distill key principles for state and local policymakers.