fbpx

Teacher Evaluations

Fund Our Future: Our students and schools deserve the highest quality professional educators. Those educators deserve an evaluation system based on professional development and mentoring support.

Public school employees deserve to have fair, transparent evaluations. A fair evaluation system would provide robust mentoring and support to new teachers and facilitate growth for veteran educators. The current system does neither.

The core purpose of teacher assessment and evaluation should be to strengthen the knowledge, skills, and classroom practices of professional educators. This is one of the most important changes that can happen to help increase student achievement.

Unfortunately, the state of teacher evaluations in Florida today falls far short of that goal. Instead, the primary purpose of the evaluation reforms forced upon educators by the Legislature seems to be to categorize and rank teachers using faulty metrics—rewarding those at the top and firing those at the bottom.

How faulty? Both the American Statistical Association and the American Educational Research Association have cautioned against using the Value-Added Model (or VAM) to make high-stakes decisions for teachers.

When FEA challenged VAM in court, Judge Mark Walker acknowledged using VAM to make employment decisions was unfair but not illegal. Almost five years after Walker’s ruling, Florida’s Board of Education is still forcing schools to make employment decisions based on VAM.

In addition to the fundamental problems with the use of the VAM, far too many instructional personnel also see unfairness in their administrator’s observations.

Whether it is because the administrator is overburdened and simply doesn’t have sufficient time, or if the administrator lacks the expertise, or simply that the evaluation model the district is using is flawed, the reality is few teachers receive meaningful feedback from their administrator.

As a result new teachers often don’t receive the support they need and veteran teachers are not given feedback that encourages their professional growth. In the end it is the students who suffer from Florida’s flawed evaluation system.

It is worth remembering that SB 736 — the same law that created the current evaluation nightmare — also led to an explosion in testing, mandatory annual contracts for new instructional personnel, and bonus pay mandates which undermine step raises and have led to wage stagnation.

So it would appear the unfair evaluation system is just another front in Florida politicians’ attack on public education. These evaluation systems have strayed far from the true intent of facilitating educator growth and have become a tool used to demoralize and stigmatize Florida’s teachers.

There is no doubt that the current system of evaluation is failing Florida’s educators and by extension our students. The Florida Education Association calls on the Legislature and the governor to work with us and with educators around the state to develop an evaluation system which will fulfill the goal of developing educators and ensuring student success.

Additional Resources

Q&As for Florida Educators

Common questions about school closures, testing, students with IEPs, evaluations, certifications and more. Updated 3/31.

Digital Learning Resources for Educators and Parents

Resources for engaging students during the school closure

FEA Statewide Town Hall on COVID-19 

Video and transcript of March 25 town hall on the impact of coronavirus on Florida’s public education system.

Q&As and Resources for Parents

Common questions and resources for parents — including links for meals for students in need.

Advocacy Updates for
COVID-19

Ways for members to take action to protect students, educators, healthcare professionals and working people.

Member Benefit Resources and Links

Overview of the additional resources our benefit partners are providing to help members deal with the COVID pandemic. Updated 4/20 with Student Loan Forgiveness information.

AFL-CIO Survival Guide for Unemployment

A PDF guide for working people facing unemployment.

FAQs about the Legislature’s Salary Plan

FEA received a number of questions before and during FEA's recent Facebook Live event covering…

Read more about this story

Will I receive a raise next school year?

Don’t like what you see in the flowchart?Get in touch with your local legislators today…

Read more about this story

Sign up for Frontline Email & Access the Frontline Archives

At the end of each week, we send a recap of the goings on in…

Read more about this story

Don’t let this moment go to waste.

Crazy times provide teachable moments.Don’t let this one go to waste.by Fedrick Ingram, President of the Florida Education AssociationWhat should you say to the people in your life during a…

Read more about this story

FEA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

The Florida Education Association recognizes the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers as an unspeakable tragedy. Sadly, police brutality against the Black community has been an ever-present occurrence;…

Read more about this story

Our voices were heard: Campuses remain closed, safety comes first

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered public school campuses closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus crisis, and later directed that education should continue through distance learning. By mid-April, no decision…

Read more about this story

FEA calls for education experts and stakeholders, medical professionals to guide reopening

TALLAHASSEE — ­ Florida Education Association (FEA) President Fedrick Ingram emailed the following letter to…

Read more about this story

FEA calls on governor to keep schools closed, continue distance learning

This letter from FEA President Fedrick Ingram was sent to the office of Florida Gov. Ron…

Read more about this story

The College of the Florida Keys Faculty Vote to Unionize

KEY WEST, Fla.  — Faculty at The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) have spoken…

Read more about this story