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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Colorado takes center stage from Florida in teacher contracting debate

During the fight over Senate Bill 6, Florida grabbed national headlines as teachers fought vigorously to stop lawmakers from tying their jobs and pay directly to student test scores.

After Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed the bill, the battle didn't stop, though. It just shifted to Colorado.

And there, the Democrats helped push new contract terms into law.

In case you missed it, late last week Colorado's Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law Senate Bill 10-191, which bases 50 percent of a teacher's evaluation on student test scores and academic growth. The bill also threatens the tenure of teachers who are rated ineffective for two consecutive years. Sound familiar?

The bill's passage is lifting the hopes of proponents of such measures in other states, including California and Louisiana, where similar ideas are in the works, the Hechinger Report reports.

"It's impossible to overstate just how significant this [Colorado] bill is," Tim Daly, president of the New Teacher Project, told the Report.

In the meantime, the politics of the measure are roiling Colorado Democrats, just as they stirred up the Florida GOP, the Denver Post reports. The bill passed the Colorado House with eight Democrats in favor, and that's threatening the balance in the selection of a new House speaker, the Post reports.

The way this is headed, it looking increasingly clear that the Crist veto offered but a momentary respite in the fight for Florida's teachers, with more to come soon. Don't forget, the Race to the Top applications are due this week, and much of the same remains in Florida's grant proposal. Stay tuned.


[Last modified: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 10:06am]


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