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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Should teacher evaluations be public?



Under Florida law, parents can get copies of teacher evaluations a year after they're complete. SB 736 added a wrinkle by requiring schools to inform parents if their children are assigned to teachers who have repeated evaluations of needs improvement or unsatisfactory.

Sponsors of the defeated "parent empowerment" act, which sought to make it even easier for parents to access these evaluations, argued that parents should have a right to know teachers' past performance and choose accordingly.

In Tennessee, the state Senate is taking a different direction.

The AP reports that the Tennessee Senate this week voted unanimously to seal teacher evaluations from public view.

"The principal would be much more honest if he knows it’s not going to go into the public record," sponsor Republican Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville said after Thursday’s vote. "We’re all about teacher performance, and that’s what evaluations are, to improve a teacher to be the best that they can be."

Good idea?

[Last modified: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:42am]


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