Most Florida teachers continue to get strong evaluation ratings
Nearly all of Florida's evaluated public school teachers continued to receive strong reviews in 2015-16, according to newly released data from the state Department of Education.
As in previous years, about 98 percent of teachers statewide rated either "highly effective" (42.9%) or "effective" (52.0%), with a tiny 0.2 percent receiving "unsatisfactory" marks, 0.7 percent as "developing" in their first three years, and 1.2 percent "needs improvement." Another 28,683 teachers were not evaluated.
For the past five years, these results have been used to guide district decisions on raises and contract renewals, among other key actions. The state also has taken the information into account when determining eligibility for its controversial Best and Brightest bonus.
District leaders, meanwhile, have suggested they would like to see a more meaningful evaluation model that places a heavier emphasis on criteria other than test scores, with an eye toward helping teachers identify areas of excellence and deficits needing more training. Superintendents recently called upon lawmakers to eliminate the value-added model, that incorporates testing results, and allow for more locally driven decisions.
State Sens. Bill Montford, Rene Garcia and Larry Lee have filed a bill (SB 964) that would take that step, among other changes to the system.
Without changes in place, the state continues to monitor evaluation models and report the annual results. Among the highlights:
- Okaloosa County had the highest percentage of "highly effective" teachers, at 97.6 percent (1,780 teachers).
- Putnam County had the lowest percentage of "highly effective" teachers, at 1.0 percent (6 teachers).
- Madison County had the highest percentage of "unsatisfactory" teahcers, at 7.0 percent (10 teachers). Hillsborough County had the largest number of "unsatisfactory" teachers with 103 (0.7 percent), three times the number of the next closest district, Escambia County.
Locally, 99.9 percent of Hernando County teachers were rated in the top two categories, along with 97.5 percent of Hillsborough teachers, 99 percent of Pasco County teachers and 92.1 percent of Pinellas County teachers. Pinellas rated 10.3 percent of its teachers as "highly effective," with 81.8 percent "effective," 4.0 percent "needs improvement," 3.9 percent "3-year developing" and 0.1 percent "unsatisfactory."
Download the full data set for more details, including results for administrators and other instructional personnel, as well as school by school information.