Teacher Evaluations Flawed

Teacher Margaret Goodwin came to the Capitol in November to complain.

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.

"For years, and years and years," said teacher Margaret Goodwin.

Because they've gotten such an earful, lawmakers are starting to rethink what they passed and governor signed in 2011.

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," said 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," said Governor 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," said Smith.

And educators say the problem is simple.

"Basically Florida made a decision they wanted to be first as opposed to getting it right," said Andy Ford with FEA United.

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

The initial evaluations found as many as 97% of the teachers rated highly effective or effective, even though their schools are receiving low grades, and some high performing teachers, got low marks. Lawmakers are expected to address the problem when they begin their annual session in March.


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