Fla. education chief OK's teacher evaluation model

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Outgoing Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith has approved a "value added" student growth model to help evaluate teachers for a new merit pay plan.

Smith announced his decision on Friday, his last day in office. He resigned under pressure from Gov. Rick Scott.

The performance of students on standardized tests will be a key component in evaluating teachers for merit pay when the new plan goes into effect in 2014.

But the growth model also includes such factors as whether students have disabilities or speak a foreign language and still are learning English. Attendance also would be a factor.

A committee of teachers, parents, principals and other citizens spent months working on the proposal.

Former Commissioner John Winn has been named as an interim replacement for Smith.

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