DOE Interim Chief Addresses Teacher Evaluation Flap

Dec 6, 2012

Over the past year the Florida Department of Education has weathered criticism over the way it scored student exams, the resignation of a commissioner and now, the fumbled rollout of new teacher evaluations. The Department’s Interim Education Commissioner appeared before a Senate Education Committee Thursday calling it a “painful year.”

The most recent hit to the Florida Department of Education came this week when it unveiled the results of new teacher evaluations, only to retract them the same day. The problem: duplicate people being reported on the evaluation rolls. Interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart says the problem was caused by incorrect salary reporting information:

“If a teacher is paid from two or three different funding sources, they would actually be reported more than once. Obviously for teacher evaluations, they should be reported only once," Stewart told committee members.

The failed evaluation rollout comes amid a search for a permanent commissioner of education after the state’s previous one resigned in the wake of a drastic drop in student FCAT scores. That drop was caused by the state ratcheting up its education standards in order to transition to a national system.  A new education chief could be named by next week.