Judge dismisses Florida teachers’ union gripe against performance evals

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week in the Sunshine State, and to celebrate a federal judge ruled against a federation of Florida teachers’ unions Tuesday.

The ruling centered on a matter near and dear to union hearts and wallets — teacher evaluations.

Education reformers might call the decision a moment of student appreciation.

It’s a bitter pill for the Florida Education Association, a 140,000-member organization, and the National Education Association, which together sued the state more than a year ago alleging constitutional violations of due process and equal protection.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Waller disagreed.

“The evaluation policies further the state’s legitimate interest in increasing student learning growth,” he wrote.

Waller also noted that, while legal, those same evaluation polices are shoddy in terms of implementation.

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