Associated Press Release
By KELLI KENNEDY
MIAMI (AP) -- Nearly 97 percent of Florida teachers were rated as "effective" or "highly effective" under a controversial new evaluation system.
But the scores released by state officials Wednesday varied widely among school districts leaving critics to question their validity.
Each school district was allowed to determine their own scoring system, including student performance goals.
The teachers union plans to lobby the Legislature to revise the law it passed last year requiring the new value-added model.
State education official Kathy Hebda said Wednesday the tool is a valid assessment and officials were expecting such discrepancies among districts in the first year.
She says schools were cautious in assigning baseline grades this year and she expects the grades will gradually improve.
Education officials say the system will hold teachers accountable for student performance.