FEA lawsuit challenging teacher evaluations unveiled
The Florida Education Association and seven teachers from Alachua, Escambia and Hernando counties have filed suit challenging the legality of teacher evaluations in which teachers are rated based on test scores of students they have not taught.
“This lawsuit highlights the absurdity of the evaluation system that has come about as a result of SB 736,” FEA President Andy Ford said in a news release. “Teachers in Florida are being evaluated using a formula designed to measure learning gains in the FCAT math and reading tests. But most teachers, including the seven in this lawsuit, don’t teach those subjects in the grades the test is administered. One of the teachers bringing this suit is getting evaluated on the test scores of students who aren’t even in her school.”
In his complaint seeking injunctive relief, lawyer Ron Meyer argues that the teachers are denied equal rights under the law, noting that many teachers "are subject to a range of harm to their pay, job security, and professional reputations as a result of test scores they had no responsibility for or ability to control."
Gov. Rick Scott has said he wants to see teachers evaluated based on the students they teach. Bills are moving through both the House (HB 7141) and Senate (SB 980) seeking to achieve that goal. Stay tuned to see how the efforts intersect with the lawsuit.