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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

How much should Florida count test results in teacher evaluations?



Florida teachers have made no secret that they don't like the current way the state uses student test results as a factor in their performance evaluations. They want something more fair and accurate than the existing system, which they have urged Gov. Rick Scott to delay.

While it's clear the tie between scores and evaluations won't go away, the possibility is emerging for some changes.

Senate education policy chairman John Legg tells the Gradebook that he's open to the idea of delaying full implementation of the evaluations, as well as to the notion of changing the percentage that the test scores count for in the evaluations. The original thought was that, to be the primary factor, the scores should be worth half, he said. But that doesn't mean the level can't be lower, so long as other factors aren't worth more.

Patricia Levesque, executive director of Jeb Bush's education foundation and a key voice in state education legislation, meanwhile, is floating a draft bill that would alter the evaluation system, too. She sent an e-mail to superintendents last week seeking input.

"We believe that a missing/key element in Florida's evaluation law is having peer teacher review and/or student feedback in the evaluation process," she wrote. "We are also concerned with the timeline for districts to implement evaluations with data for teachers in the non-state tested areas. ... Would you be supportive of a legislative change to provide districts with the 'option' to reduce the percentage that data counts from 50% to 40% if the district uses peer review or student surveys in other portion of the data? Would you be supportive of a legislative change to delay the start date for districts to develop and use district level assessments in teacher evaluations in subjects or grade levels not tested by state exams to 2015-16?"

What are your thoughts on how to refine the state's evaluation system? Can fixes help? Is a do-over in order? Let's hear your views. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 3:06pm]


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