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Welcome to our Web Site

Welcome to the Highlands County Education Association and Education Support Professionals web site.

The HCEA and HCESPA feel our union helps set the standard for excellence in Public Education in Florida. We believe that the people who work in public education in our District are knowledgeable, experienced and professional. We are the people who do the work day-to-day and we know what works and what doesn't. We know what the research says about teaching and learning. We know what it takes to achieve educational excellence in Florida's education system.

Our goal is to educate the public and supporters of public education to build a consensus for those things we know will need to be done to set the standards for excellence in our educational system. We will advocate for these things in the public arena and in the Florida Legislature. Please join us and help achieve this goal. We need active members concerned in the issues to make the kind of working conditions we want and need. Remember, Teacher working conditions are student learning conditions !

DOE responds to the August 23rd Florida administrative law judge ruling that the state DOE's first stab at writing a rule to govern the evaluations was "wholly invalid." Judge John Van Laningham's 57-page treatise on such arcane topics as "incorporation by reference" provides a dizzying introduction to the rules of writing rules. The judge, ruling in a case brought by an English teacher, a math teacher and the state teachers union, essentially says that the state's checklist for evaluating teachers is so scattered across reference materials and Internet sites that school districts can't tell what the heck is on it.

Chancellor Stewart in a letter to District Superintendents writes:

Yesterday afternoon we received the final order regarding the challenge to proposed revisions to Rule 6A-5.030, F.A.C., "Instructional Personnel and School Administrator Evaluation Systems." While the final order indicates that the revised rule is currently invalid, the ruling is based solely on the construction and format of the rule, not on the substance. This rule was being revised to reflect the review process you have already completed to demonstrate that you have met the requirements of the Student Success Act and, for the vast majority of you, Race to the Top. In addition, it addressed a new monitoring system required under the law that would not go into effect until future years. Therefore, the ruling will not affect your continued implementation of your evaluation systems that you have worked so diligently and collaboratively to develop. Given the timeframe of the receipt of this ruling and additional processes that we will be working through, the approval of your district's 2011-12 instructional personnel evaluation system is extended through the 2012-13 school year. For those of you who have expressed to us that you wish to make improvements to your system for 2012-13, you may still do that and submit those that are substantive to us for review and approval under existing rule and Race to the Top (if a participating district).

We will continue to work with you and with all of our Florida educators and education stakeholders to finalize this rule. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have.

Sincerely,
Chancellor Stewart





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