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Press Release

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Selects 27 Stakeholders to Develop Florida’s Student Growth Measure

~ Key committee consists of teachers, principals, parents, district representatives among others ~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education (DOE) proudly announced the members of its eighth and final Race to the Top (RTTT) Implementation Committee today. The Student Growth Implementation Committee will be responsible for researching and developing recommendations for Florida’s new calculation for measuring growth in student achievement that will help evaluate the effectiveness of Florida’s teachers and principals. These 27 individuals were chosen from more than 260 submissions that were received for this committee as part of the Department’s call for volunteers issued this September.

“I commend our new committee members, and all those who submitted applications, for wanting to be a part of this groundbreaking education reform effort,” said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Their voices and opinions are going to be critical as school districts throughout Florida work to build more accurate, fair and feedback-oriented evaluation systems for their educators.”

Selections to the Student Growth Implementation Committee were made with a particular focus on the experience, skills, diversity, and regional representation of each individual. The final group of volunteers highlights a list filled with teachers in a variety of subjects, district and school administrators, university and college representatives, parents and members of the business community. Members of the committee range in geographical locations from south and central Florida to northeast Florida and the Panhandle, ensuring representation from many different areas of the state.

The first order of business for the committee will focus on building background knowledge of value added components, which will become the foundation for their later recommendations. Early in November, the Department initiated the procurement process to locate and contract with a vendor to work with the Department and this committee to conceptualize and construct Florida’s new value added student growth measure as called for in the original Race to the Top grant application. Value Added Measures will form the basis of the student performance aspect of the new teacher and principal evaluation system, relying on sophisticated calculations that are able to account for a variety of student variables. Committee members will begin meeting with Department staff and the new vendor on the types of models for Florida as soon as the procurement process has concluded.

“Value Added Measures are the key to creating more effective teacher evaluation systems in our schools,” said Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Frances Haithcock. “They allow us to take a more holistic look at the work of our teachers as it relates to student academic growth by incorporating essential factors that will be reviewed through the work of this implementation committee.”

Regular updates regarding the work of this committee will be provided to educators and members of the public to ensure complete transparency. Their work will also be readily accessible through the Department’s website. For more information, visit Race to the Top Implementation Committees.