School teachers would lose tenure and see future pay raises based on student performance under a politically charged package of education changes the Florida House sent to Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday on a straight party-line vote.
The new bill:
The legislation will establish a statewide teacher evaluation and merit pay system in 2014 and do away with tenure for new teachers hired after July 1 this year. It also chips away at teachers' due process and collective bargaining rights.
Among the amendments proposed and rejected as poison pills:
Requiring superintendents to offer a written explanation for denying a teacher's contract renewal, if test scores and evaluations make the teacher eligible for the renewal.
In the new system contracts need to be renewed annually. I am unclear how not offering an explanation for failure to renew (for teachers that test well) is an unreasonable requirement. After all, if we trust these test-based metrics than it should be perfectly reasonable to explain why a high performing teacher is being let go (e.g. drop in student enrollment at their school). If we do not trust these metrics to give an unbiased picture of how is an effective teacher then why are we tying pay so closely to these metrics?
It just seems to be inconsistent.
It is also unclear where any money for merit raises might come from in a state focused on tax cuts. Overall, I am underwhelmed.
Mark: Any thoughts?