Florida releases performance scores for teachers - FOX 13 News

Florida releases performance scores for teachers

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

You know teachers grade their students. But you may not know the state also scores individual teachers.

The state projects what students should learn (based on a formula) and compares that to what they actually learned based on test scores. Then, the state scores teachers based on whether the students learned more, or less, than expected.

Florida kept the teachers' scores confidential until now.

"What the score measures is learning growth over time," said Melanie Marquez Parra, Public Information Officer for Pinellas County Schools "it's not something to base an entire judgment on."

These teacher grades account for around half of a teacher's annual job review. But school leaders, teachers and their unions say we should not read too much into that.

"I think it is misleading and may create some kneejerk reaction by some individuals demanding a child be removed from a class," said Bruce Proud, Executive Director of the Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association. "The vast majority of teachers are not to be evaluated by individual students but a collection of students at the school."

The state just released performance scores under court order. Again, the 'Value Added Model' or 'VAM' score is designed to measure actual student learning gains compared to projected learning gains.

The VAM score is an important factor in annual teacher job reviews, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of the teachers' evaluations. A positive VAM number indicates actual gains have exceeded projected gains (according to the state formula), while a negative VAM score indicates actual learning gains have not met projections.

The scores are based on FCAT math and reading data. That means teachers can be assessed based on subjects they don't even teach, and/or a collection of students who do not actually receive instruction within their classrooms.

If you would like to view the collection of Excel spreadsheets with the data, you can follow the link below and download the .zip file that contains them. Beware, the file is 350MB (that's large).

When you have opened the spreadsheets, view the one labeled "Read Me" for a legend & additional explanation of data before viewing the other spreadsheets.

LINK: http://content.foxtvmedia.com/wtvt/html/misc/Public_Records.zip


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