This blog has moved.

Please visit our new page here

« Scott touts ‘incredible economic turnaround’ to poach Illinois businesses | Main | PolitiFact: Gimenez's remark about the Dolphins' taxes is False »

Senate panel broadens teacher evaluation bill

Sen. Anitere Flores's pitch to tweak the state's teacher-evaluation model now includes language that prevents students from having low-performing teachers for two consecutive years.

Sound familiar? There's similar wording in the controversial parent trigger bill.

Flores, a Miami Republican, said Tuesday she was OK with the addition because she wants the "important provision" to pass, regardless of what happens with the trigger.

Almost like a back up plan? "Exactly," she said.

The fate of the parent trigger bill is far from determined. The proposed legislation, which would also allow parents to demand sweeping changes at low-performing schools, has already passed in the House. But it's anybody's guess what will happen in the more moderate Senate.

Even Flores said she's "not sure" if the trigger will become law.

"I know that the bill is coming up [in Senate Appropriations] today, and so that other issue of ensuring that students get assigned to good teachers, that's important to me, so I thought this other bill was a good home for it," she said.

There's a new complication, though. The teachers' union now has issues with Flores's teacher-evaulation bill.

SB 980 ensures that teachers will be evaluated based only on students they teach. It's passed in three committees (including Senate Appropriations Tuesday morning) and has one more stop (Senate Rules) before it reaches the floor.

The bill had widespread support -- until the amendment got tacked on.

"There's an evaluation system that has not been proven to be able to identify anything," said Jeff Wright, who oversees public policy advocacy for the Florida Education Association. "We don't trust it to identify which teachers need improvement or are unsatisfactory."  

-- with reporting from Tia Mitchell