Pinellas SB Member on SB 736: “We are building on a very flawed and invalid system”


From Tampa Bay Times reporters Curtis Krueger and Lisa Gartner:

The School Board unanimously voted on Tuesday to tweak the system Pinellas uses to evaluate teachers — but that doesn’t mean members are happy.

“We are building on a very flawed and invalid system,” board member Linda Lerner said. “I’m voting for this because I think it’s a little better — not because it improves what we have to work with.”

The Florida Legislature required most school systems this year to radically transform how they evaluate teachers, relying on a complicated measure of teacher performance called the “value added measure,” or VAM.

But the plan has come under fire, because many teachers are evaluated based on the performance of students who aren’t even in their classrooms. In such cases, “They’re being rated based on students they have no interaction or contact with, so they have no involvement in their learning. But we’re holding them accountable for that,” said board member Rene Flowers.

The clear divide that exists between Tallahassee lawmakers and the state’s 67 school boards continues to grow larger.

The state’s association of school board members like Lerner and Flowers passed a resolution on high-stakes tests last summer. Now with a year of SB 736 digested, local school boards are finding Rick Scott’s rigid teacher evaluation system untenable, too. What a frightening combination: Tests which mean too much coupled with a “flawed and invalid” teacher evaluation system which relies on tests.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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One Response to Pinellas SB Member on SB 736: “We are building on a very flawed and invalid system”

  1. Diane Kepus says:

    Why are the teachers, superintendents and local school boards not just saying NO? They certainly are not going to fire every one of them. In the first place “one size does NOT fit all” and our legislators need to get out of the BUSINESS of education and do what they were elected for! Oops – I forgot, what were they elected for?

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