Florida teacher evaluations remain strong, even with rule changes
Despite continued teacher frustrations with Florida's model for evaluating their work, the results remain strong.
A newly released summary of 2014-15 teacher evaluations shows 37.5 percent of all rated Florida teachers earned a "highly effective" mark, while 60.9 percent received an "effective" mark. Just 0.2 percent were seen as "unsatisfactory," a score that threatens a teacher's future employment status. Two districts — Osceola and Escambia — had more than 2 percent of teachers rated "unsatisfactory."
Nearly 17 percent of the state's 190,516 teachers did not receive an evaluation.
The outcome shows some movement between the top two ratings from year to year, but the same general overview: In 2013-14, 98 percent of teachers also received either an "effective" or "highly effective."
In the past, superintendents have questioned whether the results reflected reality. But teacher groups have argued consistently that no one should be surprised that Florida has well qualified educators.
The teachers have, however, argued against the use of student test scores in a value-added model to rate them. This past year, lawmakers reduced the amount the scores can count, from a minimum of 50 percent to a minimum of 33.3 percent.
In addition to potentially affecting teachers' base pay and contract status, the evaluations also have implications for bonuses. This year, teachers could get a Best and Brightest bonus up to $10,000 if they had a "highly effective" mark and qualifying college entrance exam scores. Renewal of that program remains in hot debate in the Legislature.
Locally, the evaluation results looked like this:
Hernando — 70.2% highly effective, 29.6% effective, 0.1% needs improvement (9.7% not evaluated)
Hillsborough — 48.7% highly effective, 47.9% effective, 2.2% needs improvement, 0.3% developing, 0.9% unsatisfactory (12.9% not evaluated)
Pasco — 88.7% highly effective, 10.6% effective, 0.7% needs improvement, 0.1% developing (36.9% not evaluated)
Pinellas — 28.4% highly effective, 70.4% effective, 0.7% needs improvement, 0.5% developing (15.4% not evaluated)
See the full report for more details, including school by school breakdowns.