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'Absurd' Florida teacher evaluation system partially fixed, according to teachers union

3:49 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers have finally fixed a flaw in the state's teacher evaluation system that graded teachers in part on the performance of students they did not teach.

Sometimes, teachers didn't even know the students. Teachers called the system absurd and filed a federal lawsuit.

That lawsuit will continue even though Gov. Scott has signed a bill preventing teachers from being evaluated on students they don't teach.

Florida Education Association spokesman Mark Pudlow said the law passed two years ago is still flawed. For example, it still allows a teacher to be evaluated on subjects they don't teach.

Pudlow said teachers want an evaluation system that considers a wide range of criteria, including how well they get students to participate, interact and think critically.

"You want to be evaluated on the total picture, not just knowledge that's known and tested on one particular day."

Pudlow said teachers should be evaluated on more than just students' test scores because a child can have a traumatic experience outside school right before the test.

"That reflects on a teacher and their evaluation and we just think it ought to be broader and it ought to be accepted by teachers everywhere when you're talking about an evaluation system."

Pudlow said the lawsuit against the state will also continue because the new changes do not throw out the flawed evaluations from the past two years.

Dave Heller