Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Teacher Evaluations Flawed

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

By: Mike Vasilinda
January 31, 2013

Teacher Margaret Goodwin came to the Capitol in November to complain. “This is the formula”, says Goodwin.

The formula used to rate her effectiveness is based in part on student performance. The problem is that very few people understand how it works.

Reporter: “So you were a highly effective teacher and now they’re saying you’re not”.

Margaret Goodwin: “For years, and years and years”

Because they’ve gotten such an earful, lawmakers are starting to rethink the what they passed and governor signed in 2011. “I think we’re going to have a hard time explaining this to teachers”.

Senate President Don Gaetz calls the evaluations flawed. He wants to make them more simple and understandable. “It’s very difficult to evaluate teachers based on the performance of students they don’t have. That’s just one example that seems to make a lot of sense”, says Gaetz.

Even Governor Rick Scott, who wants everything measured, is questioning the validly of the formula. “I talk to teachers everyday they believe in accountability they want it to be fair”, says Scott.

Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith says it is another case of “we told you so”. “This is something we can’t piecemeal and piecemeal and then someone comes up. We have to find a perfect model to be fair to all teachers”, says Senator Smith.

And educators say the problem is simple. “Basically Florida made a decision they wanted to be first as opposed to getting it right”, says Andy Ford, FEA United.

And because they spoke out, teachers will now get a second chance to prove their worth.


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