Kriseman: Down with STAR, down with MAP
A recent St. Pete Times story on Florida's new performance pay plan for teachers noted all 40 state senators voted for it back in March. But the story neglected to point out that four lone state reps (out of 120) bucked their colleagues, and among the holdouts was St. Petersburg Democrat Rick Kriseman.
In a floor speech before the vote, Kriseman said the bill that came out of the House 21st Century Competitiveness Committee (of which he is a member) was a big improvement over the then-existing plan, STAR. Unfortunately, he told his fellow reps, that proposal had since morphed into something he could not vote for: "Unlike the committee bill, which did not require a specific percentage of the evaluation to be based on a test score, this bill takes that flexibility away from the local districts." The recent Times story noted that despite a spate of misleading media coverage, the new performance pay plan - MAP - actually puts as much if not more emphasis on standardized testing than STAR. Whether that's good or not may be a question for another news story and another post in The Gradebook; but it's certainly not what most Florida teachers wanted. To read the entirety of Kriseman's speech, click here. To watch him give it, click here.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter