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2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 34
Personnel evaluation procedures and criteria.
F.S. 1012.34
1012.34 Personnel evaluation procedures and criteria.
(1) EVALUATION SYSTEM APPROVAL AND REPORTING.
(a) For the purpose of increasing student learning growth by improving the quality of instructional, administrative, and supervisory services in the public schools of the state, the district school superintendent shall establish procedures for evaluating the performance of duties and responsibilities of all instructional, administrative, and supervisory personnel employed by the school district. The district school superintendent shall annually report the evaluation results of instructional personnel and school administrators to the Department of Education in addition to the information required under subsection (5).
(b) The department must approve each school district’s instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems. The department shall monitor each district’s implementation of its instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems for compliance with the requirements of this section.
(c) By December 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Education shall report to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives the approval and implementation status of each school district’s instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems. The report shall include performance evaluation results for the prior school year for instructional personnel and school administrators using the four levels of performance specified in paragraph (2)(e). The performance evaluation results for instructional personnel shall be disaggregated by classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, and all other instructional personnel, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(b)–(d). The commissioner shall continue to report, by December 1 each year thereafter, each school district’s performance evaluation results and the status of any evaluation system revisions requested by a school district pursuant to subsection (6).
(2) EVALUATION SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS.The evaluation systems for instructional personnel and school administrators must:
(a) Be designed to support effective instruction and student learning growth, and performance evaluation results must be used when developing district and school level improvement plans.
(b) Provide appropriate instruments, procedures, and criteria for continuous quality improvement of the professional skills of instructional personnel and school administrators, and performance evaluation results must be used when identifying professional development.
(c) Include a mechanism to examine performance data from multiple sources, including opportunities for parents to provide input into employee performance evaluations when appropriate.
(d) Identify those teaching fields for which special evaluation procedures and criteria are necessary.
(e) Differentiate among four levels of performance as follows:
1. Highly effective.
2. Effective.
3. Needs improvement or, for instructional personnel in the first 3 years of employment who need improvement, developing.
4. Unsatisfactory.

The Commissioner of Education shall consult with experts, instructional personnel, school administrators, and education stakeholders in developing the criteria for the performance levels.

(f) Provide for training programs that are based upon guidelines provided by the department to ensure that all individuals with evaluation responsibilities understand the proper use of the evaluation criteria and procedures.
(g) Include a process for monitoring and evaluating the effective and consistent use of the evaluation criteria by employees with evaluation responsibilities.
(h) Include a process for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the system itself in improving instruction and student learning.

In addition, each district school board may establish a peer assistance process. This process may be a part of the regular evaluation system or used to assist employees placed on performance probation, newly hired classroom teachers, or employees who request assistance.

(3) EVALUATION PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA.Instructional personnel and school administrator performance evaluations must be based upon the performance of students assigned to their classrooms or schools, as provided in this section. Pursuant to this section, a school district’s performance evaluation is not limited to basing unsatisfactory performance of instructional personnel and school administrators solely upon student performance, but may include other criteria approved to evaluate instructional personnel and school administrators’ performance, or any combination of student performance and other approved criteria. Evaluation procedures and criteria must comply with, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) A performance evaluation must be conducted for each employee at least once a year, except that a classroom teacher, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, who is newly hired by the district school board must be observed and evaluated at least twice in the first year of teaching in the school district. The performance evaluation must be based upon sound educational principles and contemporary research in effective educational practices. The evaluation criteria must include:
1. Performance of students.At least 50 percent of a performance evaluation must be based upon data and indicators of student learning growth assessed annually by statewide assessments or, for subjects and grade levels not measured by statewide assessments, by school district assessments as provided in s. 1008.22(8). Each school district must use the formula adopted pursuant to paragraph (7)(a) for measuring student learning growth in all courses associated with statewide assessments and must select an equally appropriate formula for measuring student learning growth for all other grades and subjects, except as otherwise provided in subsection (7).
a. For classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, the student learning growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data for students assigned to the teacher over the course of at least 3 years. If less than 3 years of data are available, the years for which data are available must be used and the percentage of the evaluation based upon student learning growth may be reduced to not less than 40 percent.
b. For instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers, the student learning growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data on statewide assessments for students assigned to the instructional personnel over the course of at least 3 years, or may include a combination of student learning growth data and other measurable student outcomes that are specific to the assigned position, provided that the student learning growth data accounts for not less than 30 percent of the evaluation. If less than 3 years of student growth data are available, the years for which data are available must be used and the percentage of the evaluation based upon student learning growth may be reduced to not less than 20 percent.
c. For school administrators, the student learning growth portion of the evaluation must include growth data for students assigned to the school over the course of at least 3 years. If less than 3 years of data are available, the years for which data are available must be used and the percentage of the evaluation based upon student learning growth may be reduced to not less than 40 percent.
2. Instructional practice.Evaluation criteria used when annually observing classroom teachers, as defined in s. 1012.01(2)(a), excluding substitute teachers, must include indicators based upon each of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices adopted by the State Board of Education. For instructional personnel who are not classroom teachers, evaluation criteria must be based upon indicators of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices and may include specific job expectations related to student support.
3. Instructional leadership.For school administrators, evaluation criteria must include indicators based upon each of the leadership standards adopted by the State Board of Education under s. 1012.986, including performance measures related to the effectiveness of classroom teachers in the school, the administrator’s appropriate use of evaluation criteria and procedures, recruitment and retention of effective and highly effective classroom teachers, improvement in the percentage of instructional personnel evaluated at the highly effective or effective level, and other leadership practices that result in student learning growth. The system may include a means to give parents and instructional personnel an opportunity to provide input into the administrator’s performance evaluation.
4. Professional and job responsibilities.For instructional personnel and school administrators, other professional and job responsibilities must be included as adopted by the State Board of Education. The district school board may identify additional professional and job responsibilities.
(b) All personnel must be fully informed of the criteria and procedures associated with the evaluation process before the evaluation takes place.
(c) The individual responsible for supervising the employee must evaluate the employee’s performance. The evaluation system may provide for the evaluator to consider input from other personnel trained under paragraph (2)(f). The evaluator must submit a written report of the evaluation to the district school superintendent for the purpose of reviewing the employee’s contract. The evaluator must submit the written report to the employee no later than 10 days after the evaluation takes place. The evaluator must discuss the written evaluation report with the employee. The employee shall have the right to initiate a written response to the evaluation, and the response shall become a permanent attachment to his or her personnel file.
(d) The evaluator may amend an evaluation based upon assessment data from the current school year if the data becomes available within 90 days after the close of the school year. The evaluator must then comply with the procedures set forth in paragraph (c).
(4) NOTIFICATION OF UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE.If an employee who holds a professional service contract as provided in s. 1012.33 is not performing his or her duties in a satisfactory manner, the evaluator shall notify the employee in writing of such determination. The notice must describe such unsatisfactory performance and include notice of the following procedural requirements:
(a) Upon delivery of a notice of unsatisfactory performance, the evaluator must confer with the employee who holds a professional service contract, make recommendations with respect to specific areas of unsatisfactory performance, and provide assistance in helping to correct deficiencies within a prescribed period of time.
(b)1. The employee who holds a professional service contract shall be placed on performance probation and governed by the provisions of this section for 90 calendar days following the receipt of the notice of unsatisfactory performance to demonstrate corrective action. School holidays and school vacation periods are not counted when calculating the 90-calendar-day period. During the 90 calendar days, the employee who holds a professional service contract must be evaluated periodically and apprised of progress achieved and must be provided assistance and inservice training opportunities to help correct the noted performance deficiencies. At any time during the 90 calendar days, the employee who holds a professional service contract may request a transfer to another appropriate position with a different supervising administrator; however, if a transfer is granted pursuant to ss. 1012.27(1) and 1012.28(6), it does not extend the period for correcting performance deficiencies.
2. Within 14 days after the close of the 90 calendar days, the evaluator must evaluate whether the performance deficiencies have been corrected and forward a recommendation to the district school superintendent. Within 14 days after receiving the evaluator’s recommendation, the district school superintendent must notify the employee who holds a professional service contract in writing whether the performance deficiencies have been satisfactorily corrected and whether the district school superintendent will recommend that the district school board continue or terminate his or her employment contract. If the employee wishes to contest the district school superintendent’s recommendation, the employee must, within 15 days after receipt of the district school superintendent’s recommendation, submit a written request for a hearing. The hearing shall be conducted at the district school board’s election in accordance with one of the following procedures:
a. A direct hearing conducted by the district school board within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of ss. 120.569 and 120.57. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain the district school superintendent’s recommendation. The determination of the district school board shall be final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of employment; or
b. A hearing conducted by an administrative law judge assigned by the Division of Administrative Hearings of the Department of Management Services. The hearing shall be conducted within 60 days after receipt of the written appeal in accordance with chapter 120. The recommendation of the administrative law judge shall be made to the district school board. A majority vote of the membership of the district school board shall be required to sustain or change the administrative law judge’s recommendation. The determination of the district school board shall be final as to the sufficiency or insufficiency of the grounds for termination of employment.
(5) ADDITIONAL NOTIFICATIONS.The district school superintendent shall annually notify the department of any instructional personnel or school administrators who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations. The district school superintendent shall also notify the department of any instructional personnel or school administrators who are given written notice by the district of intent to terminate or not renew their employment. The department shall conduct an investigation to determine whether action shall be taken against the certificateholder pursuant to s. 1012.795.
(6) ANNUAL REVIEW OF AND REVISIONS TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT EVALUATION SYSTEMS.The district school board shall establish a procedure for annually reviewing instructional personnel and school administrator evaluation systems to determine compliance with this section. All substantial revisions to an approved system must be reviewed and approved by the district school board before being used to evaluate instructional personnel or school administrators. Upon request by a school district, the department shall provide assistance in developing, improving, or reviewing an evaluation system.
(7) MEASUREMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING GROWTH.
1(a) By June 1, 2011, the Commissioner of Education shall approve a formula to measure individual student learning growth on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) administered under s. 1008.22(3)(c)1. The formula must take into consideration each student’s prior academic performance. The formula must not set different expectations for student learning growth based upon a student’s gender, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. In the development of the formula, the commissioner shall consider other factors such as a student’s attendance record, disability status, or status as an English language learner. The commissioner shall select additional formulas as appropriate for the remainder of the statewide assessments included under s. 1008.22 and continue to select formulas as new assessments are implemented in the state system. After the commissioner approves the formula to measure individual student learning growth on the FCAT and as additional formulas are selected by the commissioner for new assessments implemented in the state system, the State Board of Education shall adopt these formulas by rule.
(b) Beginning in the 2011-2012 school year, each school district shall measure student learning growth using the formula approved by the commissioner under paragraph (a) for courses associated with the FCAT. Each school district shall implement the additional student learning growth measures selected by the commissioner under paragraph (a) for the remainder of the statewide assessments included under s. 1008.22 as they become available. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, for grades and subjects not assessed by statewide assessments but otherwise assessed as required under s. 1008.22(8), each school district shall measure student learning growth using an equally appropriate formula. The department shall provide models for measuring student learning growth which school districts may adopt.
(c) For a course that is not measured by a statewide assessment, a school district may request, through the evaluation system approval process, to use a student achievement measure rather than a student learning growth measure if achievement is demonstrated to be a more appropriate measure of classroom teacher performance. A school district may also request to use a combination of student learning growth and achievement, if appropriate.
(d) If the student learning growth in a course is not measured by a statewide assessment but is measured by a school district assessment, a school district may request, through the evaluation system approval process, that the performance evaluation for the classroom teacher assigned to that course include the learning growth of his or her students on FCAT Reading or FCAT Mathematics. The request must clearly explain the rationale supporting the request. However, the classroom teacher’s performance evaluation must give greater weight to student learning growth on the district assessment.
(e) For classroom teachers of courses for which the district has not implemented appropriate assessments under s. 1008.22(8) or for which the school district has not adopted an equally appropriate measure of student learning growth under paragraphs (b)-(d), student learning growth must be measured by the growth in learning of the classroom teacher’s students on statewide assessments, or, for courses in which enrolled students do not take the statewide assessments, measurable learning targets must be established based upon the goals of the school improvement plan and approved by the school principal. A district school superintendent may assign to instructional personnel in an instructional team the student learning growth of the instructional team’s students on statewide assessments. This paragraph expires July 1, 2015.
1(8) RULEMAKING.The State Board of Education shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 which establish uniform procedures for the submission, review, and approval of district evaluation systems and reporting requirements for the annual evaluation of instructional personnel and school administrators; specific, discrete standards for each performance level required under subsection (2) to ensure clear and sufficient differentiation in the performance levels and to provide consistency in meaning across school districts; the measurement of student learning growth and associated implementation procedures required under subsection (7); a process to permit instructional personnel to review the class roster for accuracy and to correct any mistakes relating to the identity of students for whom the individual is responsible; and a process for monitoring school district implementation of evaluation systems in accordance with this section. Specifically, the rules shall establish a student learning growth standard that if not met will result in the employee receiving an unsatisfactory performance evaluation rating. In like manner, the rules shall establish a student learning growth standard that must be met in order for an employee to receive a highly effective rating and a student learning growth standard that must be met in order for an employee to receive an effective rating.
History.s. 708, ch. 2002-387; s. 7, ch. 2004-255; s. 11, ch. 2004-295; s. 60, ch. 2006-74; s. 29, ch. 2008-108; s. 2, ch. 2011-1.
1Note.Section 17, ch. 2011-1, provides that “[c]hapter 2010-279, Laws of Florida, does not apply to any rulemaking required to administer this act.”