Teachers union plans new "legal challenge" to teacher evaluations

The Florida Education Association plans tomorrow to file a new legal challenge to Florida's new teacher evaluation system, a teacher union spokesman said.

Mark Pudlow, the spokesman, said he could provide no other details until tomorrow.

The union plans a telephone press conference at 10:30 tomorrow with the president of the National Education Association, as well as the state president, teachers and attorneys, taking part.

The legal papers are to be filed earlier in the morning, Pudlow said.

The state union has already filed a lawsuit about Florida's teacher merit-pay law, adopted in 2011 by the Florida Legislature. That law overhauled the state's teacher evaluation system, setting new ways for instructors to be evaluated, promoted and paid.

That lawsuit calls the law unconstitutional, arguing it infringes on teachers constitutional rights to bargain collectively.

It is pending in Leon County Circuit Court. 

The new law changed teacher evaluations to base half on a new classroom observation system and half on student test-score data. Both pieces have proved problematic, at least in the first year of implementation, as we reported here and here.


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