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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Value-added is "all about rewarding teachers," Florida Rep. Weatherford says



Among their many concerns as they protest this week and next, several Florida teachers criticize lawmakers' proposed move to a value-added model of evaluations for their pay.

At the top of their list: Experts say value-added has no proven track record.

That shouldn't stop Florida from trying to more closely link teachers to their students' performance, though, contends state Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel.

"If we get to 2013 and the value-added model is shown not to work, then obviously we put it off," Weatherford said, noting that he's in line to be speaker at the time and that's his line of thinking. "We're not going to subject anybody to an unfair system. This is about rewarding teachers and about finding a way to provide the best learning environment for our kids."

Pushing the model into legislation this year is the Legislature's way to start moving Florida toward a goal, with three years available to work out the details with educators and other interested parties, Weatherford said. It should come as no surprise, he added, after nearly two years of discussions.

But if lawmakers do nothing, he said, it's unlikely school districts would independently begin adopting more performance-based evaluation systems for teachers. 

[Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 9:59am]


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