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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Teacher evaluation rule invalid in form, not substance, state says



The Florida Department of Education is downplaying an administrative law judge's recent invalidation of the state's rules on teacher evaluations, saying the decision spoke to form and not content. 

Even so, incoming interim commissioner Pam Stewart acknowledged in a letter to superintendents that the ruling sets back the state's effort, so that district's approval of 2011-12 evaluations will carry forward into the current year. Long range, though, Stewart didn't see any major changes to the state's direction.

"This rule was being revised to reflect the review process you have already completed to demonstrate that you have met the requirements of the Student Success Act and, for the vast majority of you, Race to the Top.  In addition, it addressed a new monitoring system required under the law that would not go into effect until future years," she wrote. "Therefore, the ruling will not affect your continued implementation of your evaluation systems that you have worked so diligently and collaboratively to develop."

Districts that want to make improvements to their evaluations still can do so, and get state review under existing rule.

"We will continue to work with you and with all of our Florida educators and education stakeholders to finalize this rule," Stewart wrote.

FEA president Andy Ford has called for collaboration moving forward with teacher evaluations, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

[Last modified: Friday, August 24, 2012 8:03pm]


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