Parent Trigger’s Contradictory “Parent Notification” Provison Returns

Just hours after Parent Trigger’s defeat on the floor of the Florida Senate, Sen. Anitere Flores inserted one of its more troubling provisions  into a charter school bill. Leslie Postal of the Orlando Sentinel explains:

About 2.5 hours after a tie vote in the Senate killed the controversial “parent trigger” bill Tuesday, Senators amended another education bill to include provisions similar to some of those in the failed proposal.

A bill focused on charter schools (HB 7009) was amended Tuesday afternoon. It now requires that children in classes taught by teachers with an “unsatisfactory” or “needs improvement” ratings during the current school year could not be taught by similar teachers in the same subject next year.

A similar, but not identical, provision was in the “parent trigger” bill. It was not the most contentious part of that proposal — but it did spark debate and opponents of the overall bill didn’t like that provision.

The amendment to the charter bill was sponsored by Sen. Anitiere Flores, R-Miami, who voted for the “parent trigger” bill and spoke in favor of it on the Senate floor.

The charter bill passed the Senate with that amendment — and others — so must now return to the House, which had approved it earlier.

Pretty darn sneaky by Flores.

Not enough was made about this troubling provision which essentially puts the cart before the horse. It – and Flores – presumes that SB 736 will generate reliable data to make such determinations before the actual implementation of the bill in 2014. With some warning that Florida’s entire accountability is in danger of collapsing, and the state’s high-stakes test regime under constant change, to use its questionable data in this manner is terribly irresponsible.

And it’s terribly contradictory, too. In March, a circuit court judge ruled that the Florida Times-Union could not have access to the component data from which teacher ratings were calculated  StateImpact’s John O’Connor wrote this in April:

At issue are “value-added scores,” which uses a complex statistical formula to try to calculate which teachers are the most and least effective in improving student test scores.

Some republicans in the legislature agree. Reports Topher Sanders in the Florida-Times Union:

House Bill 7161 was filed Monday by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach.

Adkins said she believed the Legislature intended there to be an exemption.

“This is really, in my opinion, consistent with the position of the Legislature when [it] passed the student success act,” she said.

Adkins said her bill also codifies the recent Circuit Court’s ruling.

The proposal was first put forth by Adkins in the House’s education committee where it was passed 13-5.

The republican-dominated committee obviously understood the need to  protect such data.  So why did they vote for making it public in Carlos Trujillo’s Parent Trigger bill?  I wrote this April:

It’s fair to ask Adkins – a proponent of Parent Trigger – why she is against making teacher evaluation data public while being for using it publicly in Florida’s Parent Trigger legislation. A provision of the bill requires parents be notified in the event their child has a teacher who has been rated ineffective for two years in a row with the same data she wants to keep private. Letters which are sent to parents will certainly become public, and in the worst way. Can’t wait to see one of these letters shared on Facebook

If Adkins believes “the Legislature intended there to be an exemption,” and her bill somehow “codifies” a recent court ruling, one would think that a lawyer like Flores would understand that litigious relief will be required if her amendment sneaks though. Whether or not education reform zealots like Flores start thinking clearly is another matter.


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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1 Response to Parent Trigger’s Contradictory “Parent Notification” Provison Returns

  1. Ro says:

    Because her charter teachers won’t do so well apparently.ANd really, it’s an invasion of privacy in my view…

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