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Florida teachers campaign against new evaluation system

From the Times' Gradebook blog:

The Florida Education Association on Tuesday kept up its full-court press on state leaders to back away from value-added calculations in teacher evaluations. The union conducted a news conference at which teachers talked about their concerns in using student test results crunched through VAM to count for half their performance reviews.

FEA president Andy Ford called upon Gov. Rick Scott to delay implementation of the new evaluation system, imposed two sessions ago in Senate Bill 736 -- the first bill Scott signed into law. Scott has not responded. So the teachers continue to portray the evaluations as "not ready for prime time."

Dawn Chapman, president of the St. Johns teachers union, said her organization supports education accountability. But she said the evaluation system was "extremely flawed, had no input from educators, and as a result has not produced a fair evaluation process." 

Here is an excerpt of her remarks:

Good morning. My name is Dawn Chapman and I am a teacher and the President of the St. Johns Education Association and I am proud to say that the St. Johns School District is the number #1 performing county in the State of Florida for the past four years. 

As President of the St. Johns Education Association I have become all too familiar with the concerns, confusion and reservations regarding the implementation of the value added model, which we call VAM, and the impact it has created with the teachers of the St. Johns School District. 

For the record – St. Johns teachers, as well as all teachers, strongly support having an accountability system in place; however it needs to be a system that is fair, reliable, and educationally sound.

The current system under SB736 is extremely flawed, had no input from educators, and as a result has not produced a fair evaluation process. 

Read more here.