JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local leaders are at odds over the controversial way the state is grading our teachers.
“Not everything in education should be based on a test,” said Duval County Superintendent Nikolai Vitti when asked about the state’s new test-based evaluation system for teachers.
"We have to look at the quality of the test, the uniformity of the test, and whether they're reliable and valid. Right now, that's mixed,” said Vitti.
Just this week, State Senate President Don Gaetz spoke out against the new teacher evaluation system. He claims it just isn’t working.
Gaetz said the test-based evaluation system and a related performance pay plan are too complicated and fail to draw clear distinctions between the best and worst teachers.
Last month, the Florida Department of Education released the first preliminary evaluation results. They showed nearly 97-percent of teachers across Florida were rated either “effective” or “highly effective.”
But when we took Gaetz’s concerns to local lawmakers they had a different outlook.
"I guess he's looking for failure, which I think is ridiculous,” said Sen. Audrey Gibson, D-FL.
"The ultimate goal is an admirable one and one which we should be pursuing. We should hold our officials, teachers, actually every segment in state government, accountable for the job they do,” said Rep. Charles McBurney, R-Jacksonville.
Teacher evaluations will be used to set teacher salaries under the state’s performance pay plan.