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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Florida really does not like teachers.

First senate bill 736 they took away Teacher’s work protections and put all the ones hired after 2011 on annual contracts where they could be dismissed at the end of the school year for any reason.

They then said half their evaluations (perhaps soon to be lowered to a third) would be based on a complicated mathematical formula called the Value Added Model or VAM. The National Education Policy Center, and the American Statistical Association among many others have said it is bad policy to evaluate teachers based on VAM scores.
This is highlighted by the fact that even children who receive a perfect test score can negatively affect a teacher’s evaluation. The Palm Beach Post reported: …it turns out that teachers’ evaluations can be hurt by students who earn perfect scores on Florida’s standardized tests.
That’s right. When students have earned a perfect score one year, Florida’s teacher-rating formula predicts that they should earn scores higher than perfect the following year. When they don’t, their teachers get demerits for supposedly not helping them improve enough.
The piece didn’t talk about the damage a near perfect or just a good score could have on teacher’s evaluations and remember since teachers are now year to year these scores can have both pay ramifications as Tallahassee has forced districts to develop merit pay options despite the lack of evidence that say they work, and employment ramifications as well.
Finally I will just add that Florida’s teachers are some of the lowest paid in the nation and the high stakes testing agenda that Florida employs has put both unbelievable pressure on teachers and practically killed creativity and innovation.
The bottom line is we can’t continue to hammer and drive teachers out of the profession if we expect to have a top notch system, but maybe not having one is the point. 


  1. I was hired in Aug 2010 and I am stuck on annual contract forever. I always see this referred to as "people hired after 2011". Well I was hired prior to 2011 and will never have a PSC. I am curious who actually falls into this category and why it continues to be referred to as prior to 2011. Why don't they refer to it as "people hired in 2008 and before" since as I understand it, these are the only people who qualify for a PSC. It seems there is some grey area and no one can seem to explain it to me. Curious if you know why!

  2. it is referred to as 2011 because the law went into effect on july 1, 2011

  3. Florida doesn't have to pay their teachers market rate wages comparable to the rest of the country. Why you ask? Because everyone wants to live in the sunshine state with it's great weather and beaches. Pay low wages and they will come. Right?!?!