In the Tampa Bay Times today, Jeff Solochek reported that Senator John Legg, Chair of the Education Committee would consider changes in the amount that the achievement gain scores would count for teacher evaluations. This is really good news. For more detail, read on.
Currently, the gain scores are 50% of a teacher’s evaluation. District’s have additional measures they use for completing the evaluation. See the post: VAM: Teachers are More Than A Number for more information.
Some students do better and others do less well than expected on the FCAT each year. These differences from year to year are used to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Teachers whose students improve more than average earn bonuses. Statisticians, however, caution that about 80% of students growth in achievement from year to year is caused by factors outside the control of teachers and schools. A reduction in the weight given to teacher evaluations would make these evaluations more fair.