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March 2, 2007
Education Commissioner Blomberg Announces New Resources For Tracking Teacher Misconduct
TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg announced today that beginning in the next school year, parents will be able to search an online database to see if any disciplinary action has been taken against an educator’s teaching certificate. The Web site is one of the new resources in development by the Department of Education to inform parents, school administrators and the general public about teacher certificate actions. Similar to other licensed professionals like physicians, accountants and pharmacists, teachers are subject to action against their certificate for wrongdoing.
“School districts can already access disciplinary action against a teacher at any time and parents should have the same information,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “The best way to protect students is through a transparent system of information.”
While the new Web site, www.MyFloridaTeacher.com is being developed, the Department of Education has posted new resources to its Web site, www.fldoe.org/edstandards/. These include a Frequently Asked Questions section, school district contact information and an explanation about the role of the Department of Education. All of these resources will be available on the new Web site this fall, as well as a technical assistance section for principals and school district staff.
This week, during the Florida Association of School Personnel Administrators spring conference, K-12 Public Schools Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Pamela Stewart will provide training to district school administrators about new features on the state Bureau of Educator Certification system. The improved system makes final orders and all state correspondence available for districts to view and download. Districts are encouraged to regularly search the system to be fully aware of any actions taken against an educator’s certificate. All school districts were contacted today regarding the new system.
As part of these enhancements, the Department of Education will require investigators to obtain nationally-recognized certification, convene an advisory council of school personnel administrators to assist in the development of tools to aid districts, and increase the quality and frequency of professional development for district- and school-level staff regarding teacher misconduct.
The Department of Education’s Bureau of Professional Practices Services investigates alleged wrongdoings by teachers in Florida who hold a teaching certificate. Penalties against a teacher’s certificate are issued by the Education Practices Commission. The Education Practices Commission is a quasi-judicial body of peers and lay persons established in law who determine what penalty should be issued in the final orders.