Lawmakers call for delay in full implementation of Florida teacher evaluations
A Florida state senator who's also a Miami-Dade teacher and vocal opponent of the state's "education reform" efforts has filed a bill seeking to put off the full effect of a recently adopted teacher evaluation law for another year.
Democratic Sen. Dwight Bullard submitted his bill one day after the Department of Education released preliminary data showing that about 98 percent of all Florida teachers were rated "effective" or "highly effective" for their performance in 2012, with 0.2 percent considered "unsatisfactory." Those results prompted many organizations to question the value of the evaluations, which were to replace a model that had been criticized for having essentially the same outcomes.
These new evaluations are scheduled to be used, beginning next year, to determine performance salary schedules and employment renewal decisions. Bullard has proposed that such use be put off until 2015-16, which would give lawmakers and other officials an opportunity to review and improve the system. Many school districts, including Pinellas and Pasco, already have begun making changes to their evaluation programs.
An identical bill has been filed in the House. Senate committees are set to meet next week, but this measure is not up for discussion.