District's Disrespect for Teachers is Evidenced in Teacher Evaluation Scores

W. L. Doromal

Published in The Orlando Sentinel, February 16, 2016

Paper collage by Nani Doromal ©2015
This week the state released the evaluation scores for all Florida school districts and schools. As the union Co-Chair of the Bargaining Team and Evaluation Committee I was outraged to see that Orange County Public Schools received the lowest percentage of highly effective teachers for any large district, and the fewest number of highly effective teachers for any district in Central Florida. Out of a total of 12,315 OCPS classroom teachers only 256 or 2.4% were rated by OCPS evaluating administrators as highly effective. Only two small Florida districts, Union and Dixie Counties, had a lower percentage of highly effective teachers than OCPS. Statewide, 37.5% of teachers were designated highly effective.

Other Central Florida school districts exceeded our county’s number of highly effective teachers by leaps and bounds – Seminole rated 68.2% of their teachers as highly effective; Brevard, 55%; Osceola, 45.7%; and Volusia, 24.1%. Also, compare our pathetic scores to other large Florida School districts – Miami-Dade, 33.6%, Palm Beach 41.9%, and Pinellas 28.4%. Is it a wonder that so many annual contract teachers leave OCPS each year?

While the district claims that the scores are low because of changes in the computation of teachers' deliberate practice or growth plans, the changes were tenths of a point and cannot explain away this huge disparity. It cannot explain the fact that years before the deliberate practice was even part of the computation there were many more highly effective teachers than there are today.

What can explain this disparity is the fact that school-based administrators announced to teachers last year that they should expect to receive lower evaluation scores. They told the teachers that they had been directed by the District to give less effective and highly effective scores and more developing and beginning scores. Indeed, if you review the scores of every District school, those schools where teachers complained the most produced no highly effective teachers. That is zero. Not one!

How many OCPS Schools did not have even one teacher rated as highly effective? Eighty-eight! Eighty-eight of the 224 OCPS schools did not have even one highly effective teacher. Not even the Teacher of the Year at any of the 88 schools!

What if teachers stood in front of their classes and said, "Sorry students. I gave out too many A's and B's last year, expect to receive more C's and D's this year?" We would not accept such ludicrous schemes from teachers and we cannot and should not accept such absurd schemes from the Orange County School Board.

Teachers’ evaluation scores affect their pay, their career, and their job security. The scores also impact their morale, self-esteem, and ultimately and most importantly, the students. We need to reform our evaluation system immediately. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Read the state report here.

Related media report:
Teachers with top rating plummet in Orange, Orlando Sentinel, February 1, 2016


  1. As an Orange County parent, I am appalled that the teachers who work so diligently every day to help not only my children but every child be successful are not allowed to be validated with a high performance evaluation. Essentially, they are not allowed to earn it. Should I move my children to Seminole county? It would appear their teachers substantially outperform our own because of this data. Will there be a mass exodus of our best teachers to other counties?

    What disgusts me most about this is the undeniable fact that when given incentive for good performance; employees will work towards that goal. It is obvious that there is no need to push harder to help our children succeed because the teachers are going to end up with effective ratings anyway. Why go the extra mile? I am not saying they won't, but what is the district doing to ensure they do? Apparently, nothing.

    Now I have to state that I am also a teacher but I need to look at it from the perspective of a parent as well. I am teacher who earned highly effective and then wasn’t allowed to the next year. I am a teacher who qualified for the convoluted Best and Brightest scholarship but will not receive it again if renewed because of this policy. The district is not only taking pay raises from our pockets but state incentives as well. Thank you Orange County for giving the teachers in other counties a bigger slice of the state pie. Thank you for ensuring their local economies benefit from state funds that somehow will be distributed to highly effective teachers throughout the state with the exception of Orange County. These actions by the county have a much broader range of consequences.

    I can’t tell you that I haven’t started looking at housing in other counties where my high demand certifications and experience will open a door for me to begin teaching elsewhere. Where my passion for making sure students are successful will give me an opportunity to earn highly effective. Yes, I want to earn it! Teachers in Orange County aren’t asking for you to dole out highly effectives like their free pencils. They just want to know that they have an opportunity to prove that they are. The entire population of Orange County is affected by these choices. Something has to be done to fix it.

    A concerned teacher and parent.

    1. I agree with all your comments with the exception of the Best and Brightest. That program is geared toward retaining newer, younger teachers and discriminates against older teachers and those who received their training out of the country. Just because you are young, doesn't make you good. Anyway, OCPS has broken our morale and now they have piled on the inappropriate task of having classroom teachers write formative assessments. Just another way for them to overwork us and underpay us.

  2. I'm disgusted....other neighboring counties are the same.....Pay teachers what they deserve!!!!!!!!

  3. I have witnessed first hand the morale of teachers go down. They dropped from a highly effective teacher to a beginning teacher. Although they use their PLC (as we are meeting to plan for next week's reading, writing, math, science lesson plans she keep students in because they didn't complete their homework, or they missed an assignment, she uses her lunch break to work with students that are performing low. Yet she is a beginning teacher. Thank you Orange County Public Schools. I always knew Seminole County was the best district for students in Central Florida. Wasn't it these same beginning teachers this year that helped you to win the Broad Award last year? So did you lie to win this award?

  4. How does the county that earned the 'Broad Award' have such ineffective teachers? You would think OCPS would be teeming with highly effective teachers for them to win such a highly touted award. Or is there more going on here than meets the eye?

    I left OCPS last year after having to battle my administrators to even achieve an 'Effective' rating, after achieving 'Highly Effective' the year before. I am a National Board Certified teacher with an outstanding teaching record and test results. I am also consistently called upon to directly mentor other teachers (i.e. - give them my lesson plans and teach them how to implement them). However, my evaluation deemed me 'Needs Improvement', in other words, not effective. I had reached my limit. I resigned. I was tired of coming to work everyday, giving more and more every year while receiving less and less support, and then having to go through an evaluation system that feels more like a witch hunt (There are 61 things administrators can look for at ALL times. If you are not demonstrating one of those 61, you can be marked off.). You can't complain about it, because the administrator you are complaining about will be doing the remainder of your subjective observations that year, and most likely the next year. I can see it's gotten no better. Why would ANYONE want to teach in Orange County?