The state should articulate that ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal and ensure that the process for terminating ineffective teachers is expedient and fair to all parties.
New legislation in Florida ensures that teacher ineffectiveness is grounds for dismissal. All new teachers will be placed on annual contracts (see Goal 3-D), and the state requires that such contracts are not renewed if a teacher's performance is unsatisfactory. An annual contract may not be awarded if the teacher has received "two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory, two annual performance ratings of unsatisfactory within a three-year period, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory."
The state also distinguishes the due process rights of teachers dismissed for ineffective performance as determined by annual performance evaluations from those facing other charges commonly associated with license revocation such as a felony and/or morality violations.
A teacher dismissed for "just cause," which includes "immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, gross insubordination, willful neglect of duty, and being convicted or found guilty of, or entering a plea of guilty to, regardless of adjudication of guilt, any crime involving moral turpitude" is entitled to more than one appeal. After receiving written notice of dismissal, the teacher may file an appeal within 15 days. The hearing must then take place within 60 days. A teacher then has 30 days to appeal the district school board's decision for judicial review.
In contrast, a teacher may contest his or her performance evaluation rating by requesting a hearing with the district school board, and the hearing must take place within 60 days. The district school board's decision is final.
SB 736; Florida Statutes Title XLVIII, Chapter 1012.33 (3) and Title X, Chapter 120.68
Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.