Education Reform Efforts Move Forward

With all the committee meetings taking place during this year’s legislative session, it might have been easy for people to miss out on two important non-legislative meetings that took place recently.

On March 24th, Florida’s Race to the Top Student Growth Implementation Committee (SGIC) met for the first time to kick start the state’s efforts in designing a student growth model that would be used in the state’s new teacher and principal evaluation systems. Consisting of teachers, principals, parents, business leaders and other education stakeholders, the SGIC represents a variety of viewpoints that are essential in our efforts to design a student growth model that is fair, accurate and unique to Florida. This committee will be working directly with the vendor who is building the model, American Institutes for Research (AIR), to provide input and feedback on the variables the model should and should not include. It will be the work of this group that will truly allow us to call this Florida’s student growth model, and I’m looking forward to reviewing their recommendations.

Also meeting for the first time was Florida’s Race to the Top Teacher and Leader Preparation Implementation Committee (TLPIC), who got together on Tuesday to begin the discussion about the programs that are training our future educators. Similar to the SGIC, the membership of this group is varied to ensure a wide variety of viewpoints, including those of the postsecondary representatives who are in charge of these programs. It will be the charge of this group to recommend how the new student growth model is used in the evaluation of teacher and principal preparation programs, as well as establishing performance measures that will be linked to a program’s ongoing approval.

The work of each of these committees is vital as we move forward with the groundbreaking education reform efforts that are a part of our Race to the Top grant and the recently-signed Student Success Act. With their feedback in hand we will be able to ensure that the new evaluation systems are being built on a foundation of collaboration and stakeholder input – two very necessary things for our school improvement efforts to ultimately prove successful.

To learn more about these two committees visit our Race to the Top implementation committee page at http://www.fldoe.org/committees/rttt-committees.asp. I highly encourage you to listen in and pay attention to their future meetings so that you can stay informed about this important process each step of the way.

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