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Senate OK’s merit pay for teachers

by John Kennedy | March 10th, 2011

The Florida Senate approved legislation Thursday that would end tenure and tie teacher pay to student performance — the latest round in a long clash between Republican lawmakers and the state teachers union.

The 26-12 vote split on party lines, with Democrats opposed.

 Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, was the lone Democrat to crossover and support the measure; Republican Sens. Dennis Jones of Seminole and Paula Dockery of Lakeland joined Democratic opponents.

The measure (CS/SB 736) is similar to legislation that convulsed Florida last spring, before then-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed it following demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns by the Florida Education Association.

 Crist broke with the Republican Party following his veto; and the FEA endorsed Democrat Alex Sink over the GOP’s Rick Scott in last fall’s governor’s race.

Scott campaigned in favor of the legislation.

“This bill ought to be a teacher’s dream – to be paid for a student’s success,” said Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, sponsor of the bill.

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18 Responses to “Senate OK’s merit pay for teachers”

  1. Kate Says:

    Teachers need to get busy and make sure parent accountability is part of the evaluation.

    When parents fail to show up for conferences, fail to return phone calls, emails; fail to make sure their children attend school daily and move their children 3-4 times in a school year…all of these are contributing factors to lackluster learning.

    Teachers should not be held accountable if these elements are in place.

    Get busy teachers. Make sure you have input on your evaluation. AND make sure teachers get to evaluate their principal.

  2. Charles Says:

    How exactly is performance measured? Certainly not exclusively thru FCAT? A student’s success is not the responsibility of only the teacher, but that of the parents as well. But, it seems that many parents these days take no interest in their children and leave the education of their children totally in the teacher’s hands. A child’s home environment speaks through his performance in school and not solely mirrored from the classroom.

  3. Work for It Says:

    Teachers need to get busy teaching or get out of the profession. To many lazy or unqualified teachers riding the gravy traing for too long.

    Time to earn raises like the rest of us.

  4. CC Says:

    Merit pay will not affect teachers that were hired before 2014. They are grandfathered in. So this bill will not mean anythign for old school teachers.

  5. Old Teacher Says:

    Why does CC think that teachers hired before 2014 will not be affected? I believe this will include ALl teachers, regardless of when their hire date was. I hope I’m wrong about this!

  6. Dirk Says:

    And when will fire fighters&police come up for review? Get rid of the take home vehicles,eliminate ot and give them worthless 401K like the rest of us.

  7. BobinBoynton Says:

    “Work for it”- You are truly a Moron! Look it up if you don’t what it means!
    I am not a Teacher and don’t need to be to understand why this is not a good thing. What do you do when little Sally doesn’t show up for 8 weeks out of the school year? What happens when a child has a Mental illness and is uncapable of advancing? What happens when little Johnny is sleeping in the back of car and Mommy is a crack head and he can’t do his homeowrk becuase there is no one there to help him? These are just a few of hundreds of these types of situations Teachers have No Control over. Governor Scott (and I use that term very loosely) is taking $3.3 billion away from education. How is that going to help? What is going to happen when teachers stop spending several thousand dollars of their own money on kids supplies whose parents are to lazy to go out and buy them? You need to spend a few days in a teachers shoes before you throw stones!

  8. supportive parent Says:

    As a parent that is very active in their child’s academic success, and a Social Worker, agree with these terms.
    I have encounter teacher’s by all standards should retire and no longer teach anyone’s child. I have encountered some great teachers that should obtain the highest bonus possible!
    Like in all fields there are some bad apples! Those apples need to be monitored and held to a high standard like the rest of us.
    Our children deserve the best education possible and the teachers should be the best!

  9. Dirk Says:

    Hopefully Mr.Scotts cuts in education will go hand-n-hand with immigration enforcement.Per Fairus,Florida spends around $5 billion per year in illegal alien support.The exact dollar amount spent on ESOL programs and general education for illegals isn’t readily available but believed substantial.

  10. PFM Says:

    Can someone tell me where I can find what is in this bill! Or this like so many other Republican Bills for Education. They pass a bill but have no way of funding it and when you read it no one can see what needs to be done. The truth is that it’s another Republican Bill to destroy Public Education. Why because they can’t make money from it like they can if it there was private education.

  11. Tired Teacher Says:

    Governor Scott has no idea what he is doing. This is outright revenge for Obama’s health care fiasco. Teaching involves more than one part of a child’s life. The people who are crying about teachers are some of the same parents who do nothing for their own children. I have worked with children in many areas for a long time. I know that my child is achieving in school because my spouse and I are involved in her education and we do not tolerate misbehavior nor poor performance. I work 3 jobs and push myself to be involved. You can’t go half ass. Actually develop laws that hold all parties accountable. Then we will make progress.
    Unfortunately, we continue to take the easy road. Lets attack the teachers and wave sticks and threaten. We will strip away any ability they have to defend themselves and proclaim they are evil and must be punsihed. This whole thing sounds like a witch hunt.
    I think all teachers need to put the government cowards to task. Lets all quit and see how they like having no control over anything. Have there work threatened. When schools systems everywhere shut down, maybe then the value of teachers will be recognized. After all, that is why teacher’s joined unions in the first place.

  12. beware of consequences Says:

    So teachers will be paid according to student progress. Well who wants to teach the chronically underachievers when they won’t possibly be earning merit pay. You’ll have teachers fighting for the A students. Students with learning disabilities will be shipped off to center schools (ESE). This will creat division between teachers and a very undesirable workplace.

  13. ed Says:

    This is perfect, if unfortunate. Our society has reached a point where education is NOT valued. Teachers are blaimed but not supported, lawsuits for trivial transgressions and general lack of interest in the operation of the local school are quick indicators. More specific are support of rediculous statements like ‘my son did poorly because the teacher didn’t like him’ or ‘let’s balance the budget by cutting the gravy train for teachers’ or ‘I don’t use most of what I learned in school’. This bill will speed the destruction of public education, thank goodness! The slow death is painful to watch. Enough with not giving teachers raises, let’s charge them to teach. Bury your heads and don’t worry about the billions it will take to repair this damage or the 12 years the state will suffer through while a new class of students gets ‘educated’. It’s $40 off YOUR taxes and THAT’S what’s important!

  14. once republican Says:

    This is not the answer nor will it be any better than the present system. Just another change our criminal Gov put forth with his fools.

  15. Concerned Says:

    I dont understand why the adminstrators are not given the authority to evaluate teacher performance and terminate those that do not perform if needed. The same would go for the adminstrators as well. I work in a corporate environment and my supervisor evaluates my performance. Bottom line, if I dont do my job disciplinary action, including termination of employment occurs.

  16. Concerned constituent Says:

    Sign the petition…let’s all benefit from meritpay

  17. Hard working teacher Says:

    I am so tired of being the scape goat for all of sociey’s problems. I have been a teacher for 18 plus years and for the first time ever am considering a career change, even in this job market. I have taught ESE, regular ed, and gifted students in middle school. Two years teaching 8th grade I had students who prided them selves on Christmas treeing the FCAT so they could get done to sleep. Not everyone is motivated by good grades, good test scores, dreams of college, and high paying careers. Many students have little to no support at home, engage in illegal drug and alcohol use with their parents, and could care less about education. There is also a sertious socioeconomic status componewnt to a child’s success at schools. I think this is the biggest insult to the teaching profession ever. ” Walk a mile in my shoes for a week, Governor Scott, or anyone elese who thinks they know what it’s all about. If they want to get rid of the 10% of teachers who shouldn’t be teaching go for it, I support you. But don’t punish ALL of us who are working hard every day, spending money out of ourt own pockets, and wearing the hats of teacher, social worker, nurse, counselor, and overall friendly face that greets these children everyday. This bill will be the beginning of the end of Florida’s education system, which actually is better than most!!

  18. Student That Cares About Our Teachers Says:

    I am a junior in high school and I don’t think merit pay is right…
    Just because a student gets a bad score/grade it’s not the teachers fault it’s the student who got the bad score/grade’s fault. If I get a bad score/grade i don’t blame the teacher i blame myself. If students get low scores/grades it shouldn’t be up to the teacher to fix it. I think it’s wrong that teachers can be fired for the scores/grades their students get.
    Parents are more responsible for their kids’ grades/scores than teachers are. At home some parents don’t care about scores/grades so then the kid doesn’t care.
    Here are many questions I have for whoever came up with this…
    What happens to teachers that have all special needs students? Or what happens if the student is just a bad test taker? What if the student doesn’t care? What happens when a group of students don’t like a certain teacher and decide to get bad grades to get the teacher fired?
    These are just a few questions that I have alone… I know there are many more I just hope that government stops merit pay all together, it’s NOT RIGHT OR FAIR to our hard working teachers!

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