What Florida's lawmakers are doing may spread to your state! Be informed!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by pamms, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. pamms

    pamms Comrade

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    Apr 10, 2010

    You can learn a lot more on facebook! Look up Florida Senate Bill 6 under STOP SENATE BILL 6, or Florida Teachers Against Pay-For-Performance Salary/ Pay Scales, or many other sites. We need your support!

    Basically the legislature wants education reform. It is, in part, to 'help' Florida get the Race to the Top grant, but it is being done without teacher input.
    It proposes to pay teachers performance pay based on student gains on a yet to be determined set of tests (more tests).
    It states that teachers will be perpetually on ANNUAL contracts and at the end of that annual contract can be non-renewed for any reason.
    The bill prohibits pay for experience or higher degrees.
    the bill states that if teachers do not make gains (again, what that means and by what measure is yet to be determined, but we should just trust them)...if they don't make gains in 4 out of 5 years, they will LOSE their certification!!!
     
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  3. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2010

    I agree (for the most part) with most of those areas of reform. But not the lack of pay for advanced education and experience. But a state doesn't have a chance of gettng RTTT funds without the support of districts and teacher unions. They don't count actual teacher support but you have to get a certain percentage of signatures from districts and union reps, which is why Tennesse came out on top. They had 100% support from all sectors. Anyone here from Tennesse? I'd love to hear (the positive and the negative) how the state is rolling it out to classroom teachers.
     
  4. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I am FIRMLY against any sort of pay by performance. I am for accountability, but I refuse to support any legislature that bases my pay on the performance of my students. Especially if it is based on the outcome of UNFAIR tests. Bitter? You bet. I am tired of this same old argument. There has to be a better way to measure the gains my students make each and every year. I think about it all the time, and I am more than willing to listen to options my district may want to pursue. However, to redesign tests, and to see my students panic-or not even care-about the test themselves-and then base my pay on their scores? NO WAY.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Apr 10, 2010

    No additional pay for experience and advanced education? I'd like an immediate reimbursement for my (required) master's degree and my Rank I earned last year. Goodness. :(
     
  6. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 10, 2010

    I think they should pay policemen for performance- wouldn't it be wonderful if they were paid by the conviction? How about doctors? They only get paid if the patient is healthy. How about politicians? Now how, exactly, would that work?
     
  7. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I don't know how they can base it on performance base. What if you have a class of students that most are on IEPs? Or teach kindergarten and the students don't have an IEP yet? Last yr I had a class that was very low performing. Was it my teaching skills? No. Some where every young and needed another yr, some had speech issues, others had behavior issues, and some had learning disabilities not identified yet.
    This year an have an average class and they are doing wonderful. So it really depends on the class.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I don't know exactly what the Florida plan entails (sounds like they don't even have the details ironed out yet). But we measure the growth of the individual students. They take a standardized test in Kinder and each year are expected to make some growth. Now that doesn't explain how you would measure for Early Childhood or specials teachers. I don't think it's fair to use only test scores-but I do believe teachers who put in 110% should maybe be paid more than those who put in maybe 75% on a daily basis-there should be some recognition for those who go above and beyond.

    I think this legislation is extreme, but I do agree with changing the norms for tenure. In our district you work for them for 3 years, you have to do something extraordinary to put your job in jeopardy. We have teachers who basically just show up. The yearly contract, I think, may make some teachers care more about the effort they put in. I absolutely don't agree with no rewards for higher degrees, but in our district we have a very small step for Masters anyway-it would take years to make it worthwhile in what you have to pay to get it.
     
  9. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I agree that something needs to be done for those teachers who put in "more". However, how do you identify and differentiate between the teachers who put in 110% and those who put in 75%. What one person may call 110% and what another person may call 110% may be two different entities within itself. The teacher who is putting in 75% in one person's opinion may be in that teacher's opinion 110%. My point being this is where performance pay is so subjective. My opinion (and it is just that) to root out those teachers who "don't give it their all", we need to go back to our colleges of ed and our state certification standards and revisit those. Tougher certiifcation exams, more rigourous college courses to just name a few will start to weed out those people who get in to education to just "get by" until they can find Mr. $$$$.
     
  10. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Apr 11, 2010

    This is a very valid point. How then can merit pay be implemented if there isn't an objective way to measure teachers’ effectiveness?

    Test scores can't be a true measure because it wouldn't be fair for a teacher who got a well behaved class and was able to get good results vs. a teacher with behavior problems who didn’t get the same results.

    At the same time, teachers who are able to improve tests scores of difficult classes should be rewarded.

    Maybe they could classify the difficulty level of each class based on the number of students with behavior problems and disabilities as well as the class size and available resources/support. Merit pay could be then granted based on the conditions of the class and on the progress made. Teachers should also be given a choice if they want to take upon a challenging class for extra merit pay or not. This is just a thought.
     
  11. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    It really can't, as far as I can see.

    Objectively, we ALL can look around in the schools we teach, and say: "this teacher does a great job", "this teacher s*cks", "this teacher is just mailing it in", "this teacher just does the minimum".

    But the people that would have to judge it can't be counted on to be impartial (fair). In that sense, I can see some sort of standardized effort (though I am firmly against something like this). If people were trustworthy, and you could trust that their (personal) agendas not factor in, you probably could do it.

    It is demoralizing, because you do have a lot of teachers who do mail it in and just do the minimum required... and have no fear. And you do have lots of teachers who go above and beyond... and there is no way to differentiate the two.
     
  12. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    Apr 11, 2010

    And the behavior of the class is just as subjective. Poor classroom management skills or real behavior problems? Regardless of the plan that will be enforced, there is going to be some degree of subjectivity. I just don't see another way around it. On a highly positive note, I think everyone has made valid points, even with opposing viewpoints. This is what we need. Educators who can come together and problem-solve and present logical solutions or ideas from multiple points of view. Maybe we should form our own AtoZ school reform committee! I have pretty firm ideas about school reform, but I've learned a lot and have taken ideas into consideration from reading these kinds of threads.
     
  13. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    Apr 11, 2010

    How are we going to judge teachers who are in non-test giving subjects? What are we going to do to insure that all teachers are given a chance to teach and students a chance to learn by eliminating the discipline problems who come to school to cause as much chaos as they can. Hard working caring students with parent support do well in school, non-caring unmotivated student with lack of parental support do poorly in school! Can we always blame the teacher for that? s In my state student take the exams under different conditions and time constraints. The better student you are the less time and help you are given in taking THE BIG TEST!. Is this Fair.I have seen teachers who mail it in get high test scores and teachers who work 110% get mediocre test results.I have seen children obtain test results which just seem impossible based on their performance in class.
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I agree that accountability is important, but they are basing this on more testing? No. I disagree with how they are going about it. Again, they are making it so indesirable for people to even want to go into teaching.
     
  15. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2010

    Part of this legislation is that each county (district) must give 5% of it's educational budget to the state to help with designing appropriate pre/post tests for each subject and grade level. 5% is a huge amount for our counties who have take HUGE economic hits in the past few years.
     
  16. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 12, 2010

    I was looking at the news this afternoon and they reported that 40% of the 21,000 Miami-Dade teachers called in sick or took a vacation day today.
     
  17. Jenstc2003

    Jenstc2003 Companion

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    Apr 12, 2010

    WOW! Swansong.. that's just scary. Reeks of sickout to me. While I don't agree with the new plan, skipping work is not helping ANYONE, if a sickout is what this represents. Get back to work, and deal with this as adults- at the negotiating table.
     
  18. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Apr 12, 2010

    I don't know. I would have been strongly tempted to join in the sick-out. That's a HUGE statement to the legislature that the whole proposal needs work and is not endorsed by the very people it affects. 40%! Think of how many didn't call in sick but don't like the proposal.

    And giving 5% of the budget back in order to develop the tests? That's outrageous. I think I'd stand up and be counted. And it may come down to that in Georgia.
     
  19. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Apr 12, 2010

    Unfortunately, there is no negotiating on this issue. The whole bill was stuffed through the legislature without ANY input from teachers. Governor Crist has said he wants to listen to his constituents before making his decision on whether to sign or veto. His email accounts and phone lines have been filled to capacity...no one else can get through. This is the only way we have to get our thoughts across.
     
  20. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Apr 12, 2010

    I have never met a teacher who thinks this is a good idea. Everyone asks the same questions. And has the same worries, which I do as well!

    I am an art teacher. There are many elementary schools without art at the elementary level.....so! just a hypothetical..... A middle school art teacher is being paid on student performance..in whatever capacity that is..HOWEVER the students come in with NO prior art knowledge, aside from what they may have done on their own, but not guided from an art teacher to teach Elements and Principles of Art and Design, Art History, Criticism, Aesthetics etc. That would put that teacher a severe disadvantage!

    I work in an urban district. Urban districts are hard to staff as it is..so what will that do to these kids?

    If they want teachers to be accountable...when are parents going to be held accountable? Parents are the other half of education, every teacher knows that.
     

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