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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Five things that didn't get much attention about SB 736



Lots of digital ink got spilled on certain provisions within Florida's new (almost) law to dramatically alter teacher contracts, evaluations and pay. We know that new teachers would get annual rather than continuing contracts, that districts could dismiss teachers each year without cause, and that student test results will play a larger role in setting teacher pay rates.

Some items got little to no attention at all, although they'll have a big effect too. Here are five:

  • Principals would be able to reject the placement or transfer of a teacher by their superintendent if the teacher does not have a performance rating of effective or highly effective.
  • Parents would get a report informing them if their child's teacher or principal has been rated unsatisfactory in two consecutive years or twice within three years, or needs improvement in three consecutive years.
  • Superintendents must make "demonstrated effectiveness" their primary consideration when recommending individuals for promotion.
  • Teachers who accept a contract and then leave their position mid-contract without prior release from their local school board would be reported to the state Education Practices Commission for contract violation. 
  • Parents would be offered the opportunity to provide input into employee performance evaluations "when appropriate."

Backers call the new rules "groundbreaking." Critics have used many unprintable words to describe the measure. Gov. Scott is expected to sign the bill into law as early as today. Stay tuned for the latest.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:41am]


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