Fla. education chief defends teacher evaluations

TALLAHASSEE — Florida's interim education commissioner says early glitches are no reason to slow the implementation of the state's new teacher evaluation system.

Pam Stewart gave that response Thursday to lawmakers who were worried about problems that plagued the first release of data under the system a day earlier.

The Department of Education took down a website showing nearly 97 percent of Florida teachers were rated "effective" or "highly effective" within hours of putting it up.

Stewart said it will be restored once corrections are made. The problem was that some districts submitted duplicate information.

The evaluations are based in part on tests that measure student progress. Stewart acknowledged another problem is not all students are tested, but she said that should be fixed in the future.

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