Identify Florida’s Best Teachers

Why should you care about identifying Florida’s Best Teachers?

Apart from parental involvement, the most important factor contributing to how well a student will learn is the effectiveness of the teacher. Schools don’t teach students, teachers do, and the differing effectiveness between teachers in a school is usually greater than school to school differences.

Some studies have shown that the difference in student learning between having a teacher that is in the top 25% versus the bottom 25% is equivalent to half a year of knowledge. See opportunity_at_the_top-public_impact, pg 5. This is huge! For example, if you take two students that start 4th grade having achieved proficiency in third grade, with one student being assigned a top teacher and the other a bottom teacher, and if they received  the same quality of teacher the following year, at the end of the 5th grade, the student with the top teacher would be likely to be on a 5th grade level and the student with a bottom teacher would be likely to be at a 4th grade level. We also know that:

  • Years of experience do not matter for a teacher’s performance – after the first 3-4 years, they are as good or bad as they will be.
  • Most advanced degrees do not matter for teachers.
  • Existing pay systems are predicated on years of experience and degrees.
  • The best and worst teachers in a district with the same experience are paid the same amount.

Florida is the first state in the country to have the information on the best teachers publicly available statewide. Using this site you can identify English/Language arts/Reading teachers and math teachers, that, based on real data measuring how much their students learned in the course of a year, are the best teachers in Florida’s Public Schools.

There are two separate searches. Parents can search all public schools, including charter schools, by school or by teacher name, to identify the teachers in the statewide top 30% based on student learning. No login is needed for that search.

Charter schools recruiting teachers can do a much broader search, identifying all the teachers in a district that are in the top percentiles, and pulling up years of experience and address information to allow them to better recruit excellent effective teachers. A free login is required for the charter search: charter school operators can obtain credentials by emailing and requesting login credentials.

Choose your button and start your search!

 

 

Basic Scope of the Excellent Teacher Database.

This database generally covers 4-10th grade teachers in English/ Language Arts/ Reading and Math, who are in the statewide top 30% based on comparative student gains.  Some teachers who would otherwise be included are excluded from this database if their class sizes were too small for FERPA reasons, or if the Department of Education deemed their information to otherwise be exempt, since this database is derived from the information released by the Department. This website database does not contain information on teachers that taught other subjects.  The only included teachers are those for whom an evaluation was done based on the students they were assigned to teach. This database is also based on multiple years of data for most teachers, since multiple years of data can increase the accuracy.

Things to consider when searching database.

The most recent data in this search database is from the 2014-15 school year, and teachers move, change schools and are reassigned, so if a teacher you are expecting to find at a school is not listed, a search on the teacher name will sometimes reveal that teacher as listed at a different school.

Florida’s Value Added Model

There is a page on this website dedicated to more information about the teacher evaluation model underpinning this database, but basically the Florida VAM  looks at student’s prior gains, and predicts, based on actual student performance, what the expected student performance would be, and then evaluates the teacher on how far the current year’s performance exceeds or under performs the expected student performance.