2017 Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy
The state should require instructional effectiveness to be the determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Impact of student growth: Florida requires at least one-third of a teacher's evaluation rating to be based on data and indicators of student growth. "Student performance data must reflect actual contribution of the teacher to the performance of the students assigned to that teacher and in the teacher's subject matter." The student growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data for students assigned to the teacher over the course of at least three years. If three years of data are not available, the proportion of growth data may be determined by instructional assignment.
Florida does not require that teachers meet student growth goals or be rated at least effective for the student growth portion of their evaluation to earn an overall rating of effective. However, the state does require that to be rated highly effective on student performance, teachers must earn at least a value-added score greater than zero. To be rated effective on student performance, teachers must earn at least a value-added score of zero, indicating that a teacher's students scored no higher or lower, on average, than expected.
State's role in evaluation system: Florida districts develop teacher evaluation systems based on the state's criteria.
Florida Statute 1012.34 Florida Rules 6A-5.0411
Require instructional effectiveness to be a determinative criterion of any teacher evaluation.
Although Florida requires that objective evidence of student growth be included in a substantial way in a teacher's evaluation rating, it does not play a profound role in a teacher's overall evaluation rating. Florida should ensure that a teacher is not able to earn an overall rating of effective if he or she is rated less-than-effective at increasing student growth.
Florida asserted that at least one-third of a teacher's evaluation rating is based on classroom observations that focus on and document the effectiveness of instruction. Florida further provided that all of its districts' evaluation systems are based on contemporary research and on the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices, which focus on effectiveness of instruction.
7A: Measures of Student Growth
Many factors should be considered in formally evaluating a teacher; however, nothing is more important than effectiveness in the classroom. Value-added models are an important tool for measuring student achievement and school effectiveness. These models have the ability to measure individual students' learning gains, controlling for students' previous knowledge and background characteristics. While some research suggests value-added models are subject to bias and statistical limitations, rich data and strong controls can eliminate error and bias. In the area of teacher quality, examining student growth offers a fairer and potentially more meaningful way to evaluate a teacher's effectiveness than other methods schools use.
Unfortunately, districts have used many evaluation instruments, including some mandated by states, which are structured so that teachers can earn a satisfactory rating without any evidence that they are sufficiently advancing student learning in the classroom. Teacher evaluation instruments should include factors that combine both human judgment and objective measures of student learning.