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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida's teacher bonus, VAM recognitions don't match for most Pasco teachers



Even before Florida awarded its Best and Brightest teacher bonuses, teachers across the state lambasted the program as unfair, with many choosing not to participate. Among their arguments: The model that relies upon their annual evaluations and their college entry exams did not honestly identify strong teaching.

Teachers haven't been keen on Florida's use of the value-added model of rating their performance, either.

But when commissioner Pam Stewart recently issued a list of hundreds of "High Impact" teachers, based on three years' worth of student test scores, the question not surprisingly popped up. How many of the state's top performers, according to its own measure, also received a Best and Brightest award?

If Pasco County is a guide, not many. And don't forget, Pasco was among the state leaders in Best and Brightest bonuses, one of only six counties with more than 200.

According to data provided by the Department of Education, 11 of 240 Pasco County teachers received both a Best and Brightest bonus and a letter applauding them as "High Impact" teachers. That's 4.6 percent of the teachers on the "High Impact" list.

Senators, already disenchanted with the bonus system, might be looking at such discrepancies when debating whether to codify the program into law this morning as part of SB 524. Already loaded down with amendments, SB 524 appears on the Special Order agenda, which Senate staff announced would be the first order of business when the Senate convenes at 10 a.m. 

There's still that other option of another one-year budget proviso. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 11:33am]


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