Seven Florida teachers have brought a federal lawsuit to protest job evaluation policies that tether individual performance ratings to the test scores of students who are not even in their classes. The suit, which was filed Tuesday in conjunction with three local affiliates of the National Education Association in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Gainesville, says Florida's two-year-old evaluation system violates teachers' rights of due process and equal protection. Under a 2011 law, schools and districts must evaluate teachers in part based on how much their students learn, as measured by standardized tests. But since Florida, like most states, administers only math and reading tests and only in selected grades, many teachers do not teach tested subjects. One of the plaintiffs, a first-grade teacher, was rated on the basis of test scores of students in a different school in her district, and another, who teaches vocational classes to aspiring health care workers, was rated based on test scores of students in grades and subjects she had never taught. "This lawsuit highlights the absurdity of the current evaluation system," said Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.