Report touts merit pay, doubts rewards for master's degree
It's not hard to find folks who argue it was the height of tone-deafiness for the state Board of Education to release a report this week urging more accountability reforms in the midst of historic budget cuts.
But bad timing aside, the out-of-state wonks who put the report together do make points that education experts of all political persuasions have been making. Like …
Keep trying on merit pay: In Florida, STAR didn't work. MAP is all but ignored. So, the wonks suggest, come up with something that combines a state system with more district flexibility. "Such flexibility would allow for a greater degree of experimentation and innovation, which is important given that we have little experience to draw upon when designing an optimal performance pay system for teachers."
Pay teachers for effectiveness, not their degrees: According to the report's estimates, Florida spends $180 million every year to pay 60,000 teachers more for their master's degrees. This despite reams of research that suggests all that extra higher ed doesn't do much for student achievement. (A few months back, Bill Gates bashed the idea.)
Ron Matus, state education reporter