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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida lawmakers press ahead with performance pay



Crow Florida state Rep. Will Weatherford has some passion about tying at least some part of teacher pay to student performance, no matter what teachers unions say. 

"If we can figure out how to put a man on the moon ... we surely, surely can figure out a way to pay our teachers what they are worth. And some are worth more," Weatherford, chairman of the House Education Policy Council, told the Pasco Education Summit on Monday.

Some in the audience questioned the concept, suggesting it would breed dissent among a teaching staff rather than camaraderie. Consider how much friction rises over the distribution of much smaller amounts of school recognition funds, United Schools Employees of Pasco vice president Robert Moore said.

Weatherford shrugged this off, saying that by working together, the affected groups could craft a plan. "I truly believe it can be done," he said. "I'll eat crow if I'm wrong."

"I'll cook it for you!" an audience member shouted out, drawing smiles and laughter all around — including from Weatherford.

Rep. John Legg, chairman of the House Pre-K-12 Policy Committee, promised the group his mantra in considering any performance pay legislation moving through his panel would be "go slow." USEP president Lynne Webb said she was heartened by that message, as the union doesn't oppose the concept as much as the top-down approach to mandating it that seemed to be emerging in Tallahassee. 

(Image from Houston Texans message boards)

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:48am]


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