Motoko Rich in the New York Times describes the federal lawsuit, initiated by seven Florida teachers with support from local NEA affiliates, which contends that the Florida DOE’s system of grading teachers based on student outcomes “violates teachers’ rights of due process and equal protection.”
From the Florida Education Association press release:
“This lawsuit highlights the absurdity of the evaluation system that has come about as a result of SB 736,” said FEA President Andy Ford. “Teachers in Florida are being evaluated using a formula designed to measure learning gains in the FCAT math and reading tests. But most teachers, including the seven in this lawsuit, don’t teach those subjects in the grades the test is administered. One of the teachers bringing this suit is getting evaluated on the test scores of students who aren’t even in her school.”
Now, New Jersey’s data-driven teacher evaluations don’t swing to that “absurdity,” but let’s give credit where credit is due. Here’s Rutgers’ Bruce Baker in June 2010:
The way I see it, this new crop of state statutes and regulations which include arbitrary use of questionable data, applied in a questionably appropriate way will most likely lead to a flood of litigation like none that has ever been witnessed.
For a nuanced and comprehensive view of the “unintended consequences” of the growing use of value-added measures, see Bellwether’s white paper here.