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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Column urges U.S. secretary of education to intervene in Florida's teacher pay debate



We've heard from a number of Gradebook readers who want us to make clear that Florida's Senate Bill 6 isn't about teacher tenure at all, and the headlines and words we write should say so. Though we may use shorthand terms to make clear what we're talking about - many people don't like that we use the term "vouchers" for corporate tax credit scholarships, either - we're trying to stay neutral, and will continue.

For those looking for a piece that calls out the bill, we bring you the editorial opinion of Washington Post columnist Valerie Strauss. She's kept up with the bill, and she says it's so hateful to teachers that the U.S. Department of Education — the one holding the key to Race to the Top funding that Florida wants so badly — ought to voice its opposition to the legislation.

She writes:

"The bill would: 

*Require that school systems evaluate and pay teachers primarily on the basis of student test scores. Testing experts say this is an invalid assessment tool.
*Require that experience, advanced degrees or professional certification not be considered when paying teachers.
*Require that new teachers be put on probation for five years and then work on one-year contracts, which would allow any principal to easily get rid of any teacher who bothered them in any way. 
*Require the creation of new annual tests for every subject that is not measured already by state assessments or other tests, such as the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate end-of-course tests.

There’s more, but that should be enough to tell you that the folks behind this either don’t care about public education or don’t understand a single thing about it."

Read her whole column. Then we're guessing many of you might be forwarding it to your lawmakers as you continue to fight against this good/bad bill (depending on your philosophy).


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:55am]


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