House Committee Approves Education Reform Bill Linking Teacher Pay To Student Performance

April 6, 2010

teacher11.jpg

After nearly eight hours of debate and testimony, a House committee on Monday approved a comprehensive education reform measure that would start paying teachers based on student performance rather than length of service, setting it up for a floor vote.

The House Education Policy Council approved the bill (HB 7189) on a party line vote of 12-5 sending to the floor a proposal that would take part of a school’s budget to create a “performance fund” to dole out teacher pay raises based on a performance appraisal system where 50 percent is based on student learning gains. Proponents say the system will reward teachers who are dedicated to improving Florida’s schools and weed out bad apples.

“I have to tell you teacher quality reform is a hard task and we cannot shy away from it because it’s a hard task, because it’s unpleasant,” said Rep. John Legg, R-Port Richey.

Lawmakers scheduled the marathon meeting after the previous House committee hearing for the bill left opponents angry after testimony was cut short and Democrats were not allowed to offer any changes to the bill. During the Monday meeting, 120 people signed up to speak, but lawmakers ran out of time and could not recognize all of the speakers again. Council Chairman Will Weatherford had to ask Capitol security to tell one observer to be quiet after he interrupted the meeting, protesting that he was not allowed to speak though he had stayed for the whole meeting.

The legislation would take five percent of a school’s total funding for the creation of performance pay, or salary increases, that are half based on performance factors such as class management, advanced degrees and mastery of the subject, and half based on learning gains by students on some sort of exam.

The Department of Education still has to figure out how it would define learning gains and the precise testing mechanism to measure the gains. However, schools are required to create end-of-course exams in all subjects.

The proposal has spurred a highly emotional and political debate among lawmakers and teachers. The concept of measuring educational improvement and quality through testing has been championed by former Gov. Jeb Bush and has been pushed during this legislative session by Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, who doubles as head of the Republican party. Several business organizations also back the legislation, saying the improvement of public schools is tied directly to the economy.

The Senate approved the bill by a 21-17 vote in March.

Teachers turned out in volume Monday to testify against the bill. This came on top of thousands of e-mails, letters and phone calls that have been sent to lawmakers on the issue.

Several teachers and administrators cautioned that with so many unknowns, the legislation could have unintended consequences. Superintendents and school board members said the five percent hold back of state funds could create major budget problems especially as state funds shrink. And teachers questioned the assessment process since DOE has yet to determine how learning gains would be determined.

Legg has said that DOE would ensure that teachers would not be penalized for circumstances outside of a teacher’s control, like a natural disaster or a student’s illness. But some lawmakers and many teachers said the list goes on and on about what would affect a student and whether a teacher is effective.

Kenneth Blankenship, a social studies teacher at Land O’Lakes High School in Pasco County, said the bill would “make education a political football” and that it would not evaluate teachers, but their students, who aren’t fully influenced by teachers.

“The most important factor in a student’s education is their parents, their home life and their socioeconomic status,” Blankenship said.

Several representatives of Hillsborough County Schools, which has received $100 million for education reform from the Gates Foundation, spoke during the meeting and asked the state to use Hillsborough County as a pilot project to see what merit pay could look like. The school district has been working for years on that type of reform.

Jean Clements, the president of the Hillsborough teacher’s union, noted that the union worked with the district on the Gates grant and reform issues, whereas the state teachers’ union is opposed to the measure in the Legislature. She asked that lawmakers “let Hillsborough be the learning laboratory for the state.

“We should not choose between collaboration and bold innovation. We should insist on both,” Clements said.

Prior to the debate on HB 7189, the committee approved HB 7053, which would implement end-of-course exams in algebra, geometry and biology, phasing out the ninth and 10th grade FCAT in mathematics and the high school science FCAT.

Pictured top:  Teachers testify Monday against a bill in the Florida House that would start paying teachers based on student performance rather than length of service. News Service of Florida photo for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

By Kathleen Haughney, News Service of Florida

Comments

34 Responses to “House Committee Approves Education Reform Bill Linking Teacher Pay To Student Performance”

  1. David Huie Green on April 9th, 2010 1:53 am

    REGARDING:
    “….defined by the law…. It’s illegal. ….There never will be as long as parents are not accountable for their children. I simply can’t refuse a child from my class. I can’t stop the bus. I can’t do anything, other than find another career.”

    Progress. You have identified a problem–the laws as written are stopping you from being effective in educating and protecting ALL the children over whom you are given responsibility..
    Laws need to be changed.

    Parents aren’t held accountable. Why should they? Everything is YOUR fault.
    Laws need to be changed.

    Yep, when a child can stop you from teaching, he thinks he has won; when he stops you from moving the bus, he realizes he has lost.

    You don’t have the law behind you. All my problems are behind me.

    What is it, half of all teachers quit after the first year?
    Noble aspirations coming into contact with reality yield frustration.

    David for laws reflecting reality,
    just to see how it would work for a change

  2. justsayin on April 8th, 2010 9:44 pm

    Change of placement = no more changes to be made as there is no other class to place some children. They are in the least restrictive environment defined by the law. The next place would be no education and in this country, that is discrimination. It’s illegal. There aren’t enough classes for all the individual needs in any school. There never will be as long as parents are not accountable for their children. I simply can’t refuse a child from my class. I can’t stop the bus. I can’t do anything, other than find another career. I will probably do that for the sake of my own family, my own health and my own happiness. It’s shame though, because I’m good at what I do and I get results. They are results that can’t be measured in a once a year test.

  3. David Huie Green on April 8th, 2010 5:33 pm

    REGARDING:
    “How do you identify adequate progress for the student who can finally sit at her desk without disrupting everyone in the room.”

    This is where change of placement comes to mind.
    (Outer Mongolia also comes to mind)

    At some point the rights of the other students who are being robbed of educational opportunities have to be weighed in.

    The ones who make the decision are not the ones trying to teach or have their children taught because such children tend to magically be in somebody else’s class.

    I was driving at a middle school which is no longer open (and not in north end, lest you wonder) and several of the would-be riders decided to dance, scream, curse, strike others–just for the fun of it. I circled back around onto the bus ramp and explained to the dean that I could safely carry all but seven but I could not safely move down the road with that seven on that bus.

    The dean explained the principal never took anybody off the bus no matter how bad it got.

    “Well, we’re gonna sit here a while because it is illegal for me to try to drive in what I KNOW is an unsafe manner.”

    The principal came on, looked at how they were behaveing, took off ten (the last three had been marginal but I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, she wasn’t). She explained they weren’t riding any bus for the next ten days.

    “How are we going to get home?”

    “You just made that YOUR problem. Now get off his bus.”

    It was amazing how much better the rest acted after that and it was safer for the majority who hadn’t done a thing wrong and deserved to be treated better.

    I knew one driver who just gave up because they told her to roll no matter what the sweetlings did, then they fired her when she complied.

    David thinking adults should act like grown-ups

  4. justsayin on April 8th, 2010 4:49 pm

    Questions for determining merit pay…

    How do you identify adequate progress for the student who can finally sit at her desk without disrupting everyone in the room. She learned to do this in April. No, she doesn’t take meds and she never will. It’s the parent’s choice.

    How do you identify progress in a child that has stopped having major meltdowns every day because the air conditioner is making a squeaking noise? Now she melts down when someone uses the pencil sharpener. Yes, she takes the FCAT.

    How do you teach a kid who can’t stay awake because he was up past midnight?

    How do you teach a homeless child his address?

    Which concept if more important?
    a. It is wrong to hit people
    b. Author’s purpose in writing poetry

  5. David Huie Green on April 8th, 2010 12:39 pm

    REGARDING:
    “Excessive govenrment involvement in the education system has consistently failed to improve the process and has only added cost.”

    Excess in anything is always a problem–even excessive moderation.

    Since government is intertwined with public education, it MUST be involved.

    The question is one of what kind of involvement will improve education (not necessarily the educational institutions, but education itself) and what will hurt it? (here’s a good education question: Should the previous sentence end in a period or a question mark? food for thought)

    What works, what doesn’t?

    What could work but isn’t being done?

    What did work but has been abandoned?

    How could what is being done and is working be improved?

    How can we verify each part is working?

    How can we verify what failed or didn’t work as effectively as possible?

    Why are educators often unable to educate politicians?

    David knowing educational concepts go in and out of favor and are seldom tested beforehand or noted for efectiveness afterward

  6. j.w. on April 7th, 2010 9:55 pm

    How many teachers are gonna be passing failing students to get good student performance record for a possible pay raise?

  7. justsayin on April 7th, 2010 4:47 pm

    I heard about a student today who was eligible for up to one hour of free one on one tutoring. The parents did not sign permission. Child did not get tutored. How is that going to factor into teacher merit pay?

  8. David Huie Green on April 7th, 2010 9:38 am

    REGARDING:
    “691 new tests would have to be created at a cost of about 15 million dollars. This would come out to about a 5% cut in the district’s already slim budget. ”

    The 691 tests would be only for this district? Or are you saying administering the various tests in this district would cost $15,000,000?

    David considering getting into test creation

  9. Just An Old Soldier on April 7th, 2010 9:11 am

    Excessive govenrment involvement in the education system has consistently failed to improve the process and has only added cost.

    Teachers do not get to pick their students. Some of these “students” are anything but students – should we then evaluate PARENTS on their ability to make their children conform to a classroom environment? When does governance and the Nanny State end and a little personal responsibility begin?

    All this bill will do is add cost, and it will fail to make any improvement over the process. Who will suffer for this? The Children that actually need education, the Teachers that will be paced in an untenable position, and Society at large for a new crop of underachieving slackers joining the criminal class.

    When “parents” act like parents, children learn.

  10. Wes Sims on April 7th, 2010 8:42 am

    SW

    What people like you don’t realize is that a bill like this that is supposedly going to help our children will actually in up doing more harm than good. In our county alone, 691 new tests would have to be created at a cost of about 15 million dollars. This would come out to about a 5% cut in the district’s already slim budget. Where do you think this money would come from? Who knows what programs and extracurricular activities would be cut?

    You say that you support this so that the incompetent teachers can be reprimanded or removed from our schools. What you don’t realize is that 60% of the high school teachers in the state of Florida would not make learning gains as defined by the state. Do you really believe that there are that many incompetent teachers out there? What would end up happening would be that a lot of quality teachers would be out of a job and there teaching certificates wouldn’t be renewed. So in other words, they couldn’t teach anywhere in the state of Florida. The next thing that would take place is that a lot of young teachers would be scared away from this profession. Remember there are always two sides to every story. I just hope that everybody thoroughly goes through the facts before they just jump on board. Things aren’t always what they seem.

  11. Donna, formerly B on April 6th, 2010 10:52 pm

    SW,
    I don’t think that any educator would say that nothing needs to be changed. There are many fundamental flaws with our education system. Your opinion is greatly appreciated and definitely warranted on this subject. That is what makes this country great…the right to speak and be heard. Evaluations and accountability are essential, especially in education. These two things help make good teachers great. It gives us something to reach for to better prepare ourselves for what lies ahead each day in the classroom. I will say again that the system that is in place would work and be sufficient if it were used properly. There are provisions to put teachers on probation and in programs that make them basically prove themselves. But teachers can not do anything about the way administrators, principals, or even unions use these tools to determine a teachers accountability. I have a wonderful principal who is fair but honest. This person gives constructive criticism and encouragement that makes me want to do better everyday. This is what a principal should do instead of playing favorites. I can guarantee if I were not doing my job effectively, I would know about it and would be looking elsewhere. The proponents of SB6 know that this bill is flawed but they don’t have the slightest idea what it is like in a classroom on a daily basis. It is so hard to believe that a former superintendent would be for this horrendous piece of legislation. Please try to understand why we feel the way we do. It is not greed or fear of judgement that is driving us, it is preservation of a profession that we love and is no longer respected. At least I hope that is the case………

  12. Mark Oaks on April 6th, 2010 10:29 pm

    If the Teachers’ Unions oppose this, I am in favor of it.

  13. out of step on April 6th, 2010 10:26 pm

    DHG……
    I ACTUALLY AGREE WITH YOUR FIRST STATEMENT COMPLETELY. PARENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT WORK. (I AM NOT KNOCKING WORK) TEND TO THINK IT’S ENTIRELY THE PLACE OF THE SCHOOL TO TEACH THEIR CHILD OR CHILDREN. YOU KNOW THE OLD, “IT,S THEIR JOB” , WELL IT’S ALSOTHE PARENTS JOB TOO.
    PARENT, DO YOU SPENT AT LEAST 30 TO 45 MIN EACH, YES EACH DAY WITH YOUR CHILD OR CHILDREN TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY STUDY, LEARN, HOMEWORK, FRIENDS ETC….
    WELL YOU NEED TO.
    VISIT YOUR SCHOOL, SIT IN ON A CLASS, LEARN SOMETHING.

  14. FYI on April 6th, 2010 9:58 pm

    Did anyone else get a voice mail on their cell phone from Jeb Bush like I did, saying that he supported this bill? I wonder how he got my number, anyway?

  15. Rebecca on April 6th, 2010 8:45 pm

    As an educator I understand the need to have a system in place to deal with those teachers who do not perform. But, as with my students, I believe there needs to be a system in place to remediate them and help them to improve their performance before such a drastic step is taken. I would never toss a child out who did not work up to the state’s standards. I would work extra with them to help them improve in the areas they needed to improve in. Do teachers not get that same right? Doesn’t any worker no matter what their profession deserve that?
    I understand the desire of the legislature, but I worry that this has happened so fast that no one has had time to think of the possible consequences and how we would deal with them. The thought is that by having an annual contract the bad teachers can be weeded out. With all of the budget cuts that the counties are dealing with would it be better or easier for a school board to hire a more qualified and competent teacher who is higher on the pay scale or a teacher who might not be as qualified but is lower on the pay scale? After all, if they don’t perform then they can be let go. I worry that we will begin seeing a high turnover rate for teachers in many areas that need stability in order for the students to make gains like the ESE classrooms or the Title 1 schools.
    I know something needs to be done, but I think we should be taking more time to make sure what we do doesn’t have the opposite effect of what we desire.

  16. eli on April 6th, 2010 8:00 pm

    This bill is loaded with logical fallacies. For starts, the bill itself is a “red herring” that detracts from the real issue that education funding has been short-changed for years. Then there’s “begging the claim” which grounds the whole bill on the erroneous assumption that inept teachers are the cause of the current educational crisis. This illogical also is used through faulty inductive reasoning by assuming that “a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.” The irony that underscores everything is that never in our history has technology been so capable of providing deep, rich, holistic education, yet instead of embracing what technology can do for teachers and students, legislators are focusing on narrow, high stakes testing and narrow forms of accountability. Why might as well be back in Plato’s cave! But why listen to me, I’m just an English teacher who just got her Ph.D. . . .

  17. SW on April 6th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Wes,

    I agree with you on your points.

    How then should teachers be paid, just straight salary and occasional cost of living increases?

    How should teachers be evaluated? Surely, there’s a way to reward good teachers while weeding out those who should not be there.

  18. Wes Sims on April 6th, 2010 3:25 pm

    First of all, I don’t teach just to the FCAT. That’s one of the problems with any high stakes test; the essential skills that a student needs is overlooked and only those assessed benchmarks are focused on. Learning to me is a lifelong process and not just rote memorization. We need to focus on getting our kids to think critically and use logic and reason, not just memorizing facts.

    Second of all, I don’t support any form of merit pay. I actually would benefit a lot more than most other teachers because I’m at a great school with great students and great parents that get involved. However, through my experience, I know that there is no way that test scores would be a valid way to measure teacher competence and that’s why I will never support merit pay. So to sum it up, any percent of pay based on test scores is too much.

  19. SW on April 6th, 2010 2:47 pm

    Yes.

    It’s no different that teaching to the FCAT.

    Goals are set for the course and an entry test is given. At the end of the course, an exit exam is given. If the test is written correctly and the curriculum is written correctly, then a reasonable assumption can be made that the student did or did not meet the expectations of the course.

    I believe that is one of the items in this legislation.

    Do you have a different method?

    Besides all this gnashing of teeth, the bill says that 50% of performance raises are going to be based on this test.

  20. Wes Sims on April 6th, 2010 2:37 pm

    SW

    So you actually believe that how well a student does on a test is a valid method of measuring a teacher’s competence? I agree that incompetent teachers need to be dealt with. My point is that it shouldn’t be based on test scores because there are just too many variables.

  21. SW on April 6th, 2010 2:05 pm

    Wes,

    Until William makes that mandatory, I will continue to use initials. They are my real initials and he has my e-mail address; which has my real name on it. I don’t want family members to be subject to abuse because of my opinions or postings.

    However, the answer to your first 3 questions in your previous post is: Yes, yes, and yes. If incompetence is the reason for a lack of adequate response, by all means, they should be held accountable; as for the crime in a certain area, don’t we hold the sheriff’s department, for example, accountable and vote in new sheriff’s who promise to do a better job than the last?

    It seems that everyone is against this method, but no one has tossed out another one.

    Let me say again, I am not against teachers…just the ones who are incompetent.

  22. Wes Sims on April 6th, 2010 1:49 pm

    SW

    Just because something is flawed, doesn’t mean that you should change for the sake of change. I’m not against changing by any means. When we’re dealing with something as important as the education of our children, we need to be certain that when we make a change it’s for the right reason. It doesn’t make any since at all to jump on board with the first thing that comes along because we’re not happy about the way things are now. As far as your opinion, I never said it was meritless. I’m just saying that it doesn’t make any logical sense at all. After all, I’m entitled to my opinion, right? As far as initials go, in my opinion everyone that replies to anything on here should be required to use their name. A lot of people hide behind initials because they’re too worried about what people will really think of them. If you’re so adamant about your opinion, stake claim to it by putting your name on it.

  23. SW on April 6th, 2010 1:11 pm

    Okay, well. It’s obvious that I’m in the minority, here. Let’s don’t change anything and continue to complain about the quality of our educational system.

    It seems that since I am not a teacher, I have no right to have an opinion, right?.

    Maybe no job or profession should have an evaluation system; after all, we are entitled to a job and to perform exactly as we see fit, regardless of any standard or expectation from our employer…it is, after all, about us, right?

    Also, it seems that since I use initials to post then my opinion has no merit; apparently, then neither should anyone else/s, right?

  24. B on April 6th, 2010 12:41 pm

    In response to SW:

    As an educator, I am aware that education is funded by taxpayers. I happen to be one of those taxpayers and I hold myself accountable on a daily basis. There is actually a system already in place for evaluation and a way to hold us accountable if it were used properly. This bill does not get rid of “bad” teachers. These teachers are already under professional contract and their job security is still intact thanks to union control. You see SW, it is not the future “bad” teachers who will be the problem, it is the ones we already have in the system that are the problem. They will be there until they retire. Nothing has been done to address this issue. They, our elected officials, have created a “solution” that is going to backfire but it will be too late. The damage will be done. Many principals and administrators fail to utilize the current evaluation system in the proper manner. My principal is extremely thorough and only gives satisfactory evaluations if they are deserved. I was told no employee that she evaluates ever gets “exceeds expectations” because everyone has room for improvement. That is incentive for me to continue to strive to be my best. I have worked extremely hard, and will continue to do so, to ensure that I am the best for my students. I have earned an advanced degree but that will no longer be recognized. It took dedication and many long hours to earn. As in any profession, we are encouraged to be critical thinkers. I would just like to be judged and evaluated on my own merits and performance, not that of my students. A test score does not reflect my teaching abilities. How is fair that I will be judged on someone elses performance? What about the effort, time, love, passion, and experience that I put forth daily? There is no provision in this bill as it stands right now for circumstances that we cannot control. There are no two children, teachers, classrooms, or circumstances that are the same. We are only asking that this be done in the proper way, a way that truly deals with the problem and not a cookie cutter approach.
    It is easy for someone to look from the ourside and say that we have it easy. Walk a mile in my shoes and I think you would change your mind. I don’t do what I do for the money, I do it because I love it.

  25. Wes Sims on April 6th, 2010 12:40 pm

    SW
    Should a firefighter or a police officer be reprimanded for having a slow response time to a call? Should they be reprimanded for not putting out a fire before it consumed the entire house? Should they be reprimanded for not preventing crime in a certain neighborhood? I’m pretty sure your answer to all of these questions would be no. Looking at the end result doesn’t always give you a proper perspective on things. It’s impossible to determine how well these firemen and police officers were performing their jobs based on this information; the same goes for teachers. There will always be circumstances that influence the outcome of a student’s test score. The only way that this system would ever be fair is to ensure that every teacher in the county, for that subject, has the same number of kids in each class, each class setting is exactly the same, the same amount of parental involvement for every kid, the same quality of nutrition at every household, etc.
    I’m just curious. Have you (SW) ever spent a day teaching in a classroom? I would guess no. If yes, I would be ashamed to admit it. If you had, you would know that most learning is tied to previous knowledge of some sort and unless we can ensure that all students have had the same past educational experiences, this method of thinking is ridiculous.
    There’s one more thing that I don’t understand. You’re on here preaching about accountability, yet you don’t even have enough courage to be accountable for your own words. Instead you just hide behind initials. Maybe we should practice what we preach.

  26. David Huie Green on April 6th, 2010 12:00 pm

    REGARDING:
    “Why aren’t we helping them to learning another language from first grade on. Most developed nations outside the USA require children to be able to communicate fluently in at least two or more languages.”

    I keep hearing this and have no opposition to learning other languages, but I also wonder how much good it actually does.

    Most nations if you go two thousand miles in any direction, you will pass through a number of nations and a number of languages. In America most directions will take you only to more English speakers (okay, not really English, but close enough that you can understand them)

    You won’t really benefit from learning Croatian or Swedish or gullah or

    Most nations conduct meetings in English because it is the language of business and science. That is the reason the second language they teach is usually English. (I first heard this from a lady who wondered why I was bothering to learn Swedish from Berlitz.)

    The only languages I might throw in are French for diplomatic purposes and Spanish, just because they sound nice and you would be able to conduct business throughout Florida.. Portuguese comes in handy to speak to Braseileiras cutting in front of you at Disney World (“Bom dia. Vai alli”, and point to the rear of the line.)

    David for speaking Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan language (also good in Pelucidar)

  27. Kathleen Whittier on April 6th, 2010 11:32 am

    If we want a nation of children who can do little more than repeat facts then continue down the road with this Bill. I as an educator personally want students who are able think outside the box and come up with creative solutions for the ills of this nation.

    We need to increase their ability to function in a worldwide market. Why aren’t we helping them to learning another language from first grade on. Most developed nations outside the USA require children to be able to communicate fluently in at least two or more languages.

    Let the states use the funds they are investing in developing tests to provide more dynamic educational programs.

  28. just a teacher on April 6th, 2010 10:57 am

    As a teacher, I do agree we need accountability for our performance. Yes, hold me accountable for being at work on time, for teaching the standards, for continuing my professional development, for sponsoring clubs or activities, for working 60 hours a week grading research papers, or for developing plans to deal with class discipline. Yet do not hold me accountable for a student’s performance. There is a process to eliminate bad teachers maybe it should be reviewed. I have only had the honor of tenure once and that didn’t stop me from being the best I could be. Furthermore, I resent having my salary being dictated by individuals who have not walked a step in my shoes.

  29. David Huie Green on April 6th, 2010 10:17 am

    REGARDING:
    “To take a spin from, Robert Fulghum, “All that I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten…… Be fair, don’t treat people badly, respect teachcers and reward them.”

    Another case where if that were really true, they wasted the next twelve years of his life since he had already learned all he really needed to know in kindergarten.

    David who didn’t go to kindergarten, hence the lacks

  30. SW on April 6th, 2010 9:22 am

    Ms. Fike,

    Teachers are public servants; not unlike the police officer or firefighter-whose professions are normally equally honorable. As honorable as they may be, there’s got to be a system of checks and balances for the taxpayer, who is, after all, footing the bill.

    Why, then, should teachers not be held accountable for their professional conduct? Or better yet, why should a teacher not be disciplined for poor performance? Just exactly what is the system to get rid of bad teachers? With unions and tenure, it is almost impossible to get terminate or even discipline a teacher.

    Cruel and unusual punishment for taking someone’s credentials for poor performance? You’re not serious.

    Why are teachers so special that they are no longer accountable? Why can’t we, the taxpayer, demand accountability from our public employees.

  31. Laurie Fike on April 6th, 2010 8:30 am

    This bill will destroy public education. This bill is a slap in teachers faces and the way in which it has been underhandedly promoted is nothing short of criminal. This bill demonstrates underhanded politics at its worst.There is a system in place for getting rid of teachers that are not doing their jobs.
    This bill takes away job security by taking away certifications… this is cruel and unusual punishment.
    For the first time in my 28 years of dedication to the children of Florida the noble and honorable role of teacher has been smeared to no more than a mere servant.
    This bill does not create incentives for qualified teachers to teach in Florida, but rather it opens the opportunities for under qualified teachers (remember we do not want to pay teachers fro advanced degrees or experience) teachers to teach in our classrooms because these teachers will jot cost the state as much as experienced teachers.
    Why would any teacher want to teach in special needs classrooms or in low socio-economic schools?
    Why would anyone want to go in to teaching?
    To take a spin from, Robert Fulghum, “All that I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten…… Be fair, don’t treat people badly, respect teachcers and reward them.

  32. Dave on April 6th, 2010 8:01 am

    Good teachers are basic to the sucess of the educational system but good students play an even more important part.

    The teachers, curriculm, and students all need to be matched to the task.

    Not all students are college material and our state colleges are becoming overpriced day care centers basically teaching students how to take advantage of the system rather than get an education

  33. A TEACHER on April 6th, 2010 7:51 am

    Teachers can make a world of difference in a child’s life, regardless of the home life ( I don’t know what we can personally do about that ). If a teacher is only just showing up and not putting forth enough effort ( which there are those that do exactly that ), then that teacher doesn’t need to be in the class room.
    The tenure rules has protected such teachers too long, THATS THE REAL PROBLEM HERE! In any other job, if you don’t do your job you are let go. Failure to do our job is letting down the children and our county.

  34. David Huie Green on April 6th, 2010 7:28 am

    REGARDING:
    ” “The most important factor in a student’s education is their parents, their home life and their socioeconomic status,” Blankenship said.”

    While obviously true, it implies it doesn’t matter what kind of teacher the kid has.

    David wondering what would happen if we staffed the schools from the ranks of the homeless





Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.