In a move that has the local Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Joyner, and Commissioner of Education, Pamela Stewart, clearly frustrated and speaking out against the ruling, the First District Court of Appeals of Florida ruled that the Department of Education must release value-added method (VAM) scores of public school teachers.
The lawsuit was brought by the Florida Times-Union newspaper in Jacksonville, sister newspaper to the St Augustine Record; both owned by Morris Communications in Augusta, Georgia. Although educators are already making their personal thoughts known to the media, the media company that won the decision has yet to release a response.
The data, statewide, was released this afternoon to the Times-Union and others who already made their requests and were waiting on the outcome of the lawsuit. Historic City News has requested the information from Christina Langston, for teachers employed by the St Johns County School District, although immediate plans for its use have yet to be decided.
“When taxpayer money is used to pay for anything, or to hire anyone to perform services, taxpayer’s are entitled to know about it, how much it is, and reasonable information that can be used to determine the value received for the money spent,” Michael Gold said this afternoon on receiving word of the judgment of the court. “I agree that the score alone is insufficient to measure the overall value of our school teachers, but the Department of Education has no right to conceal that score if I had to pay for its determination.”
Gold said that those members of the educational community who are upset that the public records reflecting the results of their score are being released, should have been making their protests to stop the information from ever being collected in the first place.