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Florida Flubs Release of Teacher Evaluation Results

By guest blogger Liana Heitin

This post originally appeared on Education Week Teacher's Teaching Now blog.

On Wednesday, the Florida department of education posted the first round of aggregate results from its new teacher evaluation system—then within hours (oops!) identified errors and pulled the data from its website.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Hillsborough County school officials noticed that the state listed the district as having 23,970 teachers—though it only has 15,000. The department looked into the error and realized that teachers with more than one job code had been double-counted in several other districts as well.

The corrected data, which were posted on Thursday, do not differ significantly from the initial data. The department now shows that 21.9 percent of Florida teachers were rated "highly effective" and 74.6 were rated effective (the original numbers showed 22.2 percent and 74.5 percent, respectively).

Florida implemented the new evaluation system, which incorporates student test scores, this year as mandated by the state legislature. According to the department's website, the system is part of an "effort to improve instruction and student learning" in the state.

The teachers' union has been vocal in its opposition to the evaluation system, saying it was implemented too quickly and that value-added measures are not accurate enough to be included. This week's data problems will likely only add fuel to the fire for those opponents.

While the results overall were good—with the majority of teachers scoring in the "effective" range—there was considerable variation from district to district. The state's final report will be released in January.

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