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Teachers sue the state Board of Ed, challenge new educator evaluation protocol

Seven Florida teachers filed a federal lawsuit against state Education Commissioner Tony Bennett and the Board of Education on Tuesday, alleging that the state's new protocol for evaulating educators is unconstitutional.

Their claim: Evaluating teachers based on the performance of students they don't teach -- or based on student test scores in subjects they don't teach -- violates the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The seven teachers have the support of the state and national teachers' unions.

“Teachers in Florida are being evaluated using a formula designed to measure learning gains in the FCAT math and reading tests," Florida Education Association President Andy Ford said Tuesday. "But most teachers, including the seven in this lawsuit, don’t teach those subjects in the grades the test is administered. One of the teachers bringing this suit is getting evaluated on the test scores of students who aren’t even in her school.”