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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

New teacher evaluations still evolving in Pinellas

The Pinellas school district is still working on its new "teacher appraisal instrument." But it has an initial proposal for how the four components should be weighted: 60 percent for professional expectations, 30 percent for student performance, 5 percent for peer review and 5 percent for professional development.

District officials sounded skeptical, though, that the Florida Department of Education - which must approve each district's evaluation system - would sign off on that breakdown. (State law requires that teacher evaluations be based "primarily' on student performance, and lots of folks seem to view that as 51 percent.) "I doubt they'll give us that," Superintendent Julie Janssen told school board members at last week's workshop.

The board is scheduled to vote tonight on whether to approve the proposed instrument - even though it's still being crafted - and submit it to DOE for review. (Go to page 162 of the agenda packet to see the agenda item and the draft evaluation form.)

Janssen is proposing the new instrument be rolled out this fall as a pilot project, limited to four struggling high schools (Gibbs, Dixie Hollins, Lakewood and Boca Ciega) and their feeders. It would then be modified, if need be, and taken district wide in 2011-12.

The teachers union has concerns. See its recommendations here. See President Kim Black's letter to board members here.

UPDATE AT 3:55 P.M.: Pinellas district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn told The Gradebook via email this afternoon that the district will be recommending another set of percentages to the board tonight: 30 percent for professional expectations, 30 percent for student performance, 30 percent for peer review and 10 percent for professional development. Revised agenda item here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:06am]


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