The Washington Post

Florida bungles teacher evaluation results

In the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff category, consider this story from the Tampa Bay Times, which starts:

Florida’s Department of Education on Wednesday rolled out the results of a sweeping new teacher evaluation system that is designed to be a more accurate, helpful and data-driven measure of how well teachers actually get students to learn.


And then, within hours of releasing the data, the department pulled the numbers off its website and sheepishly admitted that much of it was wrong.


State officials late Wednesday said thousands of teachers were mistakenly double-counted because they had more than one “job code” in computerized records. That skewed the results.


Department spokeswoman Cynthia Sucher acknowledged it was “distressing” for the agency to learn that the information turned out to be incorrect.


Distressing is something of an understatement, especially considering that this is not the first time this year that the department has messed up with data. The story notes that 200 schools received incorrect grades from the state earlier this year. And, the department, after deciding to make the writing part of the state assessment test harder, lowered the passing mark after student scores plummeted.

Talk about data-driven education.

Here’s the whole sorry story.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · December 5, 2012

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