Individual Teacher Performance Scores Released, Bay County Reacts

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PANAMA CITY - Hundreds of teachers in Bay County are preparing for parents to see their individual performance scores. The Florida Department of Education released the scores Monday after losing a lawsuit against the Florida Times-Union.

Bay County school officials are notifying teachers that their individual value added model, or VAM, scores are now available to the public. The move comes after a judge ruled in-favor of the Florida Times-Union forcing the department of education to release the scores.

"I understand where the courts are coming from, but I also understand that those teachers should have some privacy in a career where they're working and trying to get better and improve because, again, this is one strand of data," said Bay District Schools Superintendent.

The VAM compares students in similar learning environments, instead of using only FCAT scores. The scores range from unsatisfactory to highly effective.

About 80% of local teachers scored effective or higher this year in the direct VAM category. This looks at a teacher's course and compares it to how well students score on the FCAT.

In the indirect category, more than 90% of teachers earned passing scores. The indirect category measures a teacher's work that's indirectly aligned with the FCAT.

More than 80% of teachers scored at least effective in student growth. These scores are 50% of a teacher's evaluation.

"So I agree with them it should have been held, but I know we lost the case and now it's out there. I need the people to understand that though they see this one VAM score that may not depict what kind of teacher is in the classroom with the student," said Sandra Butler, a representative of the Association of Bay County Educators.

To access your child's teacher scores, talk to their school administrator.