There is much misinformation circulating on Senate Bill 6, and for one group (teachers Unions) it is a thorn shoved in the side. And like any good mom (union) they will furiously protect their young beyond reason and logic while besmirching others and ignoring what’s best for Florida and its’ students. Sadly this has become the MO of most unions. And who can blame them, nobody wants to swallow a bitter pill. But is it a good bill? Is it a perfect bill? Is it a fair bill? No, no, and no. But the truth is it won’t affect most teachers. Using a graded scale, D teachers and above have nothing to worry about.
The truth is it will cut the wheat from the chaff. The truth is it still needs to be honed and made fairer. Too bad we lost this chance to be more progressive and improve a failed school system. Too bad Crist chose politics over reason.
No matter how you slice and dice, the current system is broken—and in some cases it’s corrupt. Bad teachers are nearly impossible to fire and good teachers can’t get a pay raise.
There are so many talented and gifted teachers working hard and ostensibly underpaid. For some it’s a passion and the pay is insignificant. They would do it for free if they could. I know some of those teachers. Some do it for the pay, which is about twice the median Floridian income for a family of two. Teachers say they are under paid. They probably are in most cases. I wish we could pay teachers—especially the good ones—$100,000 a year. So, what’s in Senate Bill 6?…
Could teachers lose their jobs without any recourse if this bill passes?
Yes, if they were hired on July 1, 2010, or later. That’s when they would be placed on a one-year probationary contract, during which time they could quit or be fired without cause.
Is that bad?
What about teachers hired before July 1, 2010?
They’re safe as long as they can demonstrate “effective performance” in four of the five years leading up to renewal of their teaching certificate.
Is that bad?
What about the claim that teachers would have half their pay based on student test scores?
That provision appeared in the first version of the Senate bill, but has since been removed. The new version says that, starting in 2014, at least half of a teacher’s annual evaluation must be based on student learning gains.
Is that bad?
Will teachers be competing with each other to achieve gains regardless of their students’ abilities?
Not necessarily. The bill makes clear that student learning would be evaluated among students in the same course taking the same test. So it’s unlikely gifted children would be compared to children with special needs.
I’m not seeing many of the complaints made on the
unfairness in this bill, but fairness is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe one should open both eyes and take an honest look at this bill. People want change, but what they really want is for others to change, and have them pay for it too. The other part of this problem is the overloaded, overpaid administrative school system.