Task force makes recommendations for high-quality Florida teachers
If the recommendations of Florida Gov. Rick Scott's education team could be called volatile, perhaps those coming from former Gov. Charlie Crist's Task Force on Educational Excellence (attached below) might be viewed as the moderate approach to some of the same hotly debated issues.
Crist convened the group in June, in the aftermath of his veto of SB 6, which would have dramatically changed the way teachers are evaluated, contracted, certified and paid. Its charge was to find consensus among several groups, including teachers, that could pave the way toward some of the same accountability measures in SB 6, but without all the rancor.
The finished product came out Dec. 30, just in time to see Crist depart from office, perhaps leaving its usefulness in doubt. Still, it offers some generally even-handed proposals on hot-button issues including differential pay, rewards for effective teachers, teacher evaluations including a value-added model, and identification of low-performing teachers.
Each comes with general recommendations, action steps and a list of responsible entities to get the job done. Here's one brief example:
Workable Measures of Student Learning Gains, Including Special Education Students
General Recommendations: Any value-added model must consider historical student growth and year specific factors with attention to all subgroups, including special education students and English language learners. Student specific factors should include attendance and regular participation in the education program, chronic illnesses, medical conditions and medications. The final assignment of any particular percentage to any aspect of teacher evaluation should occur only after the model is developed and fully tested and with stakeholder input and collaboration.
Action Steps: a) Request FDOE to provide periodic status reports regarding development of a value added model and findings regarding application of models for review and feedback by the Task Force.
Entities Responsible: a) FDOE, b) Task Force, c) Local Education Agency
It might end up as a counterpoint to more radical measures that could emerge from the new governor's office or the Legislature. Or, it could end up unread on a shelf, the product of a departed leader. Read the document and let us know what you think.