Earlier this year, when a lawsuit by the Florida Times-Union forced the release of evaluation data for thousands of Florida teachers, Daniel Woodring saw an opportunity.
The release of value-added model, or VAM, scores meant that for the first time, the public had access to a trove of quantitative data on the effectiveness of teachers all over the state.
Woodring, a Tallahassee attorney whose clients include charter schools, used the data to create a website, myflteacher.com.
The site uses the unprecedented release of data to help people find the most highly rated teachers. Woodring (who also provides legal counsel to Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog) hopes the data could also change the way charter schools recruit top teachers.
Parents can search the site by school to see which teachers are among the top 30 percent. But the more intriguing aspect of the project may be the password-protected area for charter schools, where they can log in and find the top teachers in surrounding schools.
The idea is charter schools could search the data for top teachers in their area. Since they are not unionized and not bound by collectively bargained salary schedules, charters could, in theory, look up the teachers with the highest ratings in the database and offer higher salaries to lure them to their schools.