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Pasco superintendent offers advice for parents about teacher performance scores

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Pasco County Schools' superintendent is urging parents to not jump to conclusions about the quality of their children's teachers, after the state released teacher performance scores.

The state lost a legal battle and on Monday Florida's Department of Education released individual performance scores for more than 100,000 teachers across the state.

The VAM (value-added model) data measures how much a teacher helped a student learn and also include student's scores on standardized tests.

Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning released a statement Monday, with the hope that parents will not rush to judge the performance scores.

“The VAM formula is a complex statistical model based on 4th through 10th grade student FCAT math and reading performance, as well as 9th graders’ algebra end-of-course exam scores,” said Browning.

“Easily half of Pasco’s teachers are being evaluated using different data sources,”he added.

District administrators, the Pasco School Board and the United School Employees of Pasco are concerned that the data are not easily understood and want parents to know that much more goes in to evaluating a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom than the numbers being released today, according to a news release from Pasco County Schools.

The DOE lost a lawsuit filed by the Florida Times Union newspaper in October of 2012. The suit asked for information the state planned to use as part of a new evaluation system for teachers.

A spokesperson for the FDOE said the department would not be posting the information on its website and media would likely release it.

Some information in this story was obtained from the Associated Press.

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