Teacher Evaluation System Overview

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Statutory Basis

As set forth in the Student Success Act (SB736), now Florida statute 1012.34, teacher evaluations are:

  • Designed to support effective instruction and student learning growth
  • Designed so the results are used when developing district and school-level improvement plans
  • Designed so the results are used to identify professional development and other human capital decisions (transfers, reduction in force, pay for performance) for instructional personnel and school administrators
  • Include performance of students:  at least 50% of a performance evaluation must be based upon data and indicators of student learning growth assessed annually and measured by statewide assessments or, for subjects and grade levels not measured by statewide assessments, by district assessments as provided in s. 1008.22(8), F.S.

Evaluation Components

Your evaluation is now composed of two portions:  student growth and instructional practices

  • The student growth portion will be based primarily on student test scores and will be added your evaluation when the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) delivers student growth data and teacher Value-Added (VAM) scores to the school district in late July

o For classroom teachers with students who take the state assessment (FCAT), the  FDOE will use the approved formula to calculate a teachers VAM score based (see the section on VAM on the other side)

o For classroom teachers with students who do not take the FCAT, your district must submit the:

  1. District-determined student assessment for each grade and subject
  2. Method of calculating the student learning growth or performance
  3. Percentage of FCAT and local assessment results applied
  4. Method of calculating a teacher’s effect score for teachers whose course load is a combination of FCAT and non-FCAT courses
  5. Scoring system and cut points that apply to student scores

o For non-classroom teachers, such as guidance counselors, your district must submit the:

    1. Percentage of the evaluation based on FCAT results
    2. Any other outcome measures in addition to the FCAT, and the scoring system and cut points associated with these measures
  • The instructional practices portion will be based primarily on observations of your performance.

o District evaluation systems fall into one of these categories:

  1. State-adopted Marzano
  2. Danielson’s Framework
  3. Copeland model
  4. Hybrid systems using combinations of Marzano, Danielson and other recognized researchers

o  Observations and feedback may be formal and informal, scheduled and unscheduled events, walkthroughs, meetings, and examination of materials that reflect the teacher’s work


Evaluation Events Timeline: April – October

April: Districts finalize all teachers’ evaluation totals and ratings on the Instructional Practices (IP) section
Local unions gather information from members and work on teacher’s concerns regarding IP scores/rating
FCAT test results reported to students and parents
Bargaining teams negotiate issues related to the impact of teacher evaluation processes and implementation and new mandates from the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and the State Board of Education (SBOE)
June: DOE publishes School and District grades associated with FCAT data
July: DOE finalizes 2011-12 Student Growth (SG) data and sends districts a spreadsheet with Value-Added Model (VAM) scores for every teacher with students who take the FCAT
August: Districts conclude teacher evaluations calculations by combining IP and SG data, advise teachers of final evaluation score and rating, and report teachers’ final scores and ratings to DOE
August: Local unions monitor the evaluation results, assess impact of SB 736 on their bargaining unit members and report conclusions, discrepancies and inequities to FEA for possible legal and policy actions
August-October:  Teachers have 90 days from the reporting of the final evaluation score/rating to appeal









Value-Added Model/Measurement
Value added model for teacher evaluation

A value-added model is a statistical model that uses student-level growth scores to differentiate teacher performance. While there are different statistical models, they all are designed to identify what is commonly referred to as a teacher effect. The teacher effect is the portion of student growth attributed to the classroom teacher.



  • The model estimates the effect of predictors (such as prior test score) on the current score and show the amount of growth “typical” for a student group, adjusted with a covariable, while holding everything else constant
  • The model simultaneously estimates the average learning above (or below) prediction for each school and teacher and shows how much student scores for specific teachers and schools deviate from the typical amount of learning
  • The Florida VAM formula calculates two components:

o Teacher component: the (weighted) average performance of students in a class that is different than the statistical expectation
o School component: the (weighted) average performance of students in a school that is different than the statistical expectation
o The “final” teacher  value-added score is a combination of the teacher and school components and is computed as: 1.0 Unique Teacher Component + .50 Common School Component

  • 2/3 of the final teacher VAM compares the  teacher to his/her colleagues within a school
  • 1/3 of the score ties the teacher to the school score which is based on the state average adjusted for the school’s demographics
  • Teachers’ VAM scores can range between +4 to -4, and most scores fall between +1.2 and -1.2

o Scores near or at 0 = little or no deviation from the prediction
o Districts must establish a cut score for each of the for rating categories: Highly Effective, Effective, Needs Improvement/Developing, Unsatisfactory
o Establishing a cut score means that teachers above and below the score will be in different categories even if their score is differs by as little as 0.1
o The number of students a teacher has affects the percentage meeting or exceeding expectations and; consequently, the teachers VAM score
o The types of students a teacher has affects a teacher’s VAM score
o This is a zero-sum game; for every winner there is a loser 

  • The State Board of Education (SBOE) has the rulemaking authority to set cut scores for each of the ratings; however, the SBOE withdrew their rule on VAM following an FEA challenge. According to their attorney, they are waiting for the 2011-12 student score reports before they pursue their determination of student growth ranges and cut scores.  We expect  SBOE determined SG-VAM ranges and cut scores to be applied to 2012-13 teacher evaluations

It is important to know your contract/collective bargaining agreement to guarantee that your rights are protected.












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