All Clay County Teachers Get Top Rating For Good Reason, Say Administrators

Dec 5, 2013

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The results of this year’s evaluations show that teacher effectiveness seems to vary widely from one school district to the next.

On the First Coast, 99.6 percent of teachers in St Johns County are rated "effective" or "highly effective" followed by 99.3 percent in Nassau County, 97.4 percent in Baker County and 93.5 percent in Duval County.

Only Clay County rated 100 percent of its educators as effective or better. Toni McCabe, Clay County’s Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, said it's true, Clay Country teachers really are that good.

“People who are unsatisfactory in the classroom either choose to not stay or we have a system in place that counsels them into another walk of life.  So we just do not have unsatisfactory performers in our ranks,” McCabe said.

While the Florida Department of Education provides the basic framework for the evaluations, it also gives the state's individual school districts a lot of wiggle room in how they score their teachers’ classroom performance.

Florida lawmakers voted in 2011 to approve the teacher evaluations and to tie them to teachers' salaries.

The National Education Association and the Florida Education Association are suing the state in Federal Court on behalf of seven teachers in Alachua, Escambia and Hernando Counties.

The teachers argue they shouldn't be evaluated on the standardized test scores of students they've never taught or subjects they don't teach.

The Florida Times-Union has also gone to court to force the release of additional evaluation data.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.