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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Senate adds new, controversial language to teacher evaluation bill



A bill that had won some praise from Florida teachers for making clear that they must be evaluated on the performance of students they teach picked up a new provision Tuesday that many educators don't like. The new amendment to SB 980 would require that students not be assigned to teachers who have received a "needs improvement" or "unsatisfactory" rating in two consecutive years, unless they get parental consent in some cases.

If that sounds like a piece of the parent trigger bill, that's because it is. Sponsor Sen. Anitere Flores acknowledged the amendment provides a backup plan for the concept in case the parent trigger doesn't make it out of the Senate. (It's already passed the House.)

The change prompted the Florida Education Association to withdraw its support of SB 980.

"There's an evaluation system that has not been proven to be able to identify anything," said Jeff Wright, who oversees public policy advocacy for the Florida Education Association. "We don't trust it to identify which teachers need improvement or are unsatisfactory."

The parent trigger still must get through Senate Appropriations and Rules before it would go to the floor.

Read more from our Tallahassee bureau here.

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 11:56am]


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