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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Despite teacher complaints, state readies report on new evaluation system



Not bowing to union pressure, the state is moving forward with publicizing the results of a new evaluation system for teachers that some school employees say is confusing and error-prone.

The Florida Department of Education says will release a preliminary status report on the 2011-2012 school year evaluations sometime next week. The report will including the statistics about how classroom teachers and other school employees scored. The ratings levels are: highly effective, effective, needs improvement, developing, or unsatisfactory.

Data will be available at state, district, and school levels, but not for individual employees. Only charter schools participating in the federal Race to the Top program will be included in the report.  are included in the 2011-12 data. This initial status report includes all information received from districts to date, representing the majority of district data.

Meanwhile, the Orlando Sentinel reports that teachers are complaining about the individual results they received and pointing out flaws in the review system.

From the Sentinel:

When Central Florida teachers got their final job evaluations this month, many were puzzled or discouraged by how student test-score data affected their reviews.

The biggest complaint: Florida's new "value-added" model judged a majority of teachers on the test scores of students they didn't even teach during the 2011-12 school year.

The new system crunches reading and math scores from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test through a complicated equation, aiming to judge teachers' influence on student learning. It is a key part of Florida's new and controversial teacher-merit-pay law.

But many instructors — such as those who teach kindergarten, music, chemistry or Spanish — don't teach the subjects or grades covered by those FCAT exams. So their value-added data often were based on the scores of students in their school but not in their own classes.

More than 100 Orange teachers have sent the union affidavits detailing how the data hurt their reviews, said Diana Moore, president of the Orange Classroom Teachers Association. And she is sympathetic to their complaints.

"I would not want to be evaluated on somebody's else's work," she said.

Read more from the Sentinel's report here.


[Last modified: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:03pm]


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