Controversial scores on Florida teachers' effectiveness released

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

For the first time, parents can now go online to check out their children's teachers to see how they compare in the state evaluation system.

A "0" score means the teacher has met student growth expectations. Anything above 0 means a teacher exceeded expectations and negative scores mean the teacher has underperformed.

Channel 9 asked how the teacher scoring system accounts for the students' individual challenges. State education leaders said disabilities, economic situations and other challenges are considered when evaluating each student's growth expectation and each teacher's score is based on whether those expectations were met or exceeded.

WFTV's Kathi Belich asked parents at Howard Middle School whether they'll review the findings.

"I don't believe in it," said parent Vanessa Ly, who said she won't be checking the scores.

But parent Heidi Harmer said she will absolutely be checking them.

Scores for each district, school and teacher can be found in the documents.

In Brevard County, the lowest score appeared to be a negative 1.3 for a teacher at Heritage High School, Belich said.

There's some concern that once parents see the scores they will flood the phone lines demanding teacher and school changes, but Orange County cautions parents not to overreact because the scores don't tell the whole story.

"It's 40 percent of the teacher's evaluation," said Associate Superintendent Gina Tovine. "The other 60 percent is instructional practices."

The Florida Education Association sent out a note Monday slamming the scores as meaningless.