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State Board Says Teacher Evals Don't Match School Grades

The state board of education wants teacher evaluation results to better reflect school grades. In a Monday meeting, board members expressed concerns that while most of the state’s teachers were rated as effective and highly effective, many schools still got low grades.

The evaluations have been under fire from teachers who say the student performance formula used to evaluate them is flawed. The board of education is also calling the formula, called the value-added or VAM model, into question. Board members say the number of teachers rated as effective and highly effective doesn’t match to the number of schools earning “A” and “B” grades. Florida’s new education commissioner Tony Bennett told members of the board that he’s looking at changes:

 “Our schools set their own VAM cut scores this year. And I would say part of this will be resolved when we have some universal cut scores set by the department as it applies to teacher effectiveness, he said.  

That kind of change could rile districts which have complained about the state interfering in local issues. 96 percent of Florida teachers were rated effective and highly effective, only 72 percent of schools were in the A/B category last year.

For more news updates, follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter @HatterLynn