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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

How the state of Florida used bad data to almost destroy a teacher's life.

Emily Litella and Duval County or the State of Florida
From a Reader

Recently I heard from a Civics teacher about the student data piece of an evaluation from a prior year. It brought to mind the brilliant Gilda Radner and her character, Emily Litella.

The teacher received an email that said an error had been made in the VAM score for the year 2013 – 2014. Seems that the score wasn’t below 25% of students making growth and that the NEEDS IMPROVEMENT rating was in error. In actuality, the teacher is EFFECTIVE.

The teacher was told: Recently, it was discovered that there was an error in the posting of scores for the 2013-2014 Civics’ Assessment for CAST, which resulted in a miscalculation of student growth scores in the Civic silo.  As a result, there has been a change in your final Summative Evaluation score for that year and your final rating went up a level.  Below, you will find both your previous and revised final scores and ratings. You have the option to not take any action or to sign a corrected copy of your 2013-2014 evaluation.  Should you desire to sign a corrected copy, please notify me via e-mail by Wednesday, November 18th.  If you choose not to take any action, then a copy of this report is being attached to your 2013-2014 Summative Evaluation and forwarded to the Florida Department of Education. 

In other words, ever since the ERRONEOUS rating, the teacher went through 9 kinds of hell as district people flooded the classroom to show what was wrong and how to do it right. (Sorry for the awkward phrasing, but I am not using pronouns to narrow down the gender. So admins on all levels, stop trying to guess who this is.) The teacher worried about not only losing the job, but the career if the state continued to get erroneous evaluations and the law mandated that the teaching certificate be invalidated through non-renewal.

But a year and a half later, the teacher gets a ‘My Bad,’ and … well, Emily LItella said it best:

I thought that was the end of this piece, but the teacher tells me that in spite of complying with the District to go in to Prudential Drive and sign a correct version of the evaluation, the District isn’t fussed enough to tell the teacher when to come in and do so.

An Emily Litella ending indeed. Oh go ahead and watch it one more time:

It’s the best a teacher is going to get.


  1. After 37 years with DCPS I'm here to tell you they're a three shell Monte game - with no pea.

  2. They will probably never leave her alone now, because they have decided she's a bad teacher and they won't admit they were wrong.

  3. I am concerned for my own score as the evaluators at my school are not objective in their evaluations.