Saturday, February 12, 2011

Merit Pay: Senator Wise files SB 736

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Sandra in Brevard

Barely two working days after public testimony, Senator Wise submitted a bill regarding performance pay procedures for teachers and administrators. The bill is scheduled to be discussed in the Senate PreK12 Education Committee on February 9 and 10. Senator Wise is the chair for that committee. No legislative analysis is available. Fiscal impact is not yet available. Mechanisms for funding the measure are considered by the Appropriations committee.

The Orlando Sentinel published the announcement of the filing of the bill at 6:48 PM this evening.

You can access the full text of the bill by going to Then enter the bill number in the search field. You can open the bill text in web or PDF format. As the bill moves through committee, it can be revised. A legislative analysis should appear eventually in the same location as the bill text.

It is late, but I looked the bill over. The bill designates the Commissioner of Education responsible for creating a formula to assess growth to include a student's prior performance, subject, and grade
level. The formula may "consider other factors", which include but "are not limited to" attendance, disciplinary records, disabilities, level of English language proficiency. Gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomics are not to be included in the formula. The bill states that 50% of teacher evaluations must include this student growth data for "students assigned to the teacher over the course of at least three years." The percentage decreases based on available data on the student. This particular piece of the bill does not make sense to me, but I await the commentary and analysis by others more versed in this.

The bill specifies greater latitude for types of tests districts may use for growth by 2014, including end-of-course tests developed at state levels, commercial tests, industry certified, or district developed. It appears that after the period of probationary status, teachers would be offered annual professional contracts only that may be renewed or not renewed without reason at the end of each year.

Finally, the bill proposes what level of increase teachers who meet or exceed evaluation measures. I await the legislative analysis on the cost of this plan. Cost was the problem for me last year and remains the problem for me this year.

Grumpy Note;  the end of last week Wise was talking about Road Blocks in Merit Pay: Senator Wise hints at significant roadblocks to bill development, he is quoted as saying he hopes to 'have a bill ready in the second or thrid week of March  "

What a difference a weekend and a helpful lobbyist makes, the Orlando Sentinel story mentions an educatcation advocacy group.. a little looking on Sandra's partand she found  The Foundation for Florida's Future, an influential group formed by former Gov. Jeb Bush.

 For the moment, that's all I need to say
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