NEA joins Florida lawsuit. But what about Illinois?


Florida teacher Kim Kirby, named Teacher of the Year last December, gets an unsatisfactory rating.

Good for the National Education Association’s decision to join with a number of Florida teachers in a lawsuit against the state’s teacher evaluation procedure.

The lawsuit is based on the long-standing legal right of due process.

The suit contends that teachers in Florida are being evaluated on the scores of students that they didn’t teach.

Valerie Strauss in the Washington Post:

The seven teachers who filed the lawsuit include Kim Cook, who, as this post explains, was evaluated at Irby Elementary, a K-2 school where she works and was named Teacher of the Year last December. But 40 percent of that evaluation was based on test scores of students at Alachua Elementary, a school into which Irby feeds, whom she never taught. Really.

The other teachers who filed the lawsuit all claim that they have been and/or will be evaluated on the scores of students they haven’t taught and on subjects they don’t teach. The lawsuit, also filed by the National Education Association and the Florida Education, claims that the evaluation of teachers based on test scores of students they don’t teach or from subjects they don’t teach is unfair and violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clause of the Constitution.

Here in Illinois we have the Performance Evaluation Reform Act and Senate Bill 7, which combined do something very similar to what the Florida law does.

No classroom teacher teaches alone.

Every teacher builds on the work of the teachers our students had before us and who will follow us.

Every teacher has a classroom of students whose lives and knowledge are impacted by things both inside and outside the control of the teacher.

And yet Illinois’ PERA and SB7 tie teacher performance reviews in large part to individual student performance.

The irony is that both PERA and Senate Bill 7 were created with the cooperation of past elected and current staff leadership, including the Executive Director.

In Florida the NEA is filing suit against a concept that their Illinois affiliate created.

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