Putting Education Reform To The Test

Collier County Superintendent On Teacher Evaluations: “Get It Right”

Collier County Schools

Collier County superintendent Kamela Patton.

The criticism is beginning to build against the Florida Department of Education for their botched release of teacher evaluation data this week.

Collier County schools superintendent Kamela Patton was one of those unhappy with the errors. She was also concerned that some districts have yet to report evaluation — amounting to about one-quarter of all teachers in the state.

Patton said school districts are open to changing education policy, according to the Naples Daily News, but that the state needs to get things sorted. From the story

“We keep saying to the state, we’re never against your thoughts, but get it right,” Patton said during a meeting with the Daily News’ editorial board.

Among concerns she mentioned was the fact that the largest district in the state — Miami-Dade County — is not included in the initial data. The data released Wednesday is preliminary and the district has yet to report its information to the state.

Patton also said, however, that a portion of the system aimed at determining a teacher’s impact on student learning — the so-called value-added model — appears to have worked.

Meanwhile, lawmakers both questioned and defended the evaluations at a Tallahassee hearing Wednesday.

Interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said the new system is on track, though she acknowledged the problems. From the Florida Current:

“You telling me that a first grade teacher’s evaluation will be dependent upon students who perhaps that teacher had never seen?” said Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee.

“That is correct,” Stewart said. “There are some districts that have assessments that do measure first grade teachers and kindergarten teachers and some that do not.”

Stewart conceded the system is off to a rough start.

“Any time you implement anything this large there are growing pains,” she said. However, she said she is confident any flaws in the evaluation system will be found and corrected.



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