Draft language for another version of Senate Bill 6 makes certain a new version of this controversial piece of legislation will be on the 2011 legislative agenda.
S.B. 6, which would have tied teacher performance evaluation and pay to student performance on statewide assessment tests, was approved by the Florida legislature in the 2010 session and vetoed by Gov. Carlie Crist.
The News Service of Florida reports:
The bill also had significant political undertones. The proposal was a pet project of former Gov. Jeb Bush’s education foundation, the Foundation for Florida’s Future, and it was directly opposed by the teachers’ union, which largely funded Bush’s 2002 gubernatorial opponent Bill McBride. It was also sponsored by the head of the Republican Party, Sen. John Thrasher and supported by many Republican-leaning groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Florida Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Edie Ousley said that the Chamber expects to be fully involved in the issue again during the 2011 legislative session and that while the state has made strides in education reform, the state’s schools still were not good enough.
The draft version for a new merit pay bill titled “Teacher Quality Legislation” (read the full text below) includes changes to how and when education personnel performance would be measured in Florida.
The State Board of Education will be in charge of establishing and implementing evaluation measures of school-based administrators and instructional personnel based on student progress in statewide assessment tests.
The state board shall also issue annual performance reports on graduates of state-approved teacher-preparation programs and adopt a multiyear formula to measure student gains in statewide assessment and end-of -course tests, and will identify critical teacher shortage areas.
With this new draft, school districts will establish compensation and are authorized to create two salary schedules: one for instructional personnel who hold professional continuing contracts and another one with higher pay for instructional personnel who choose to give up professional service or continuing contracts for annual contracts. And up to 50 percent of an annual salary raise is tied to a performance rating.
School districts must also develop a Department of Education-approved annual appraisal system for instructional and administrative personnel based on the “performance of students assigned to their classrooms or schools.”
Several State Board of Education members have ties to former Gov. Jeb Bush and current Gov. Charlie Crist.
Attorney Roberto Martinez served as special counsel to Attorney General Charlie Crist and general counsel to Bush during the gubernatorial transition.
Kathleen Shanahan is currently on the Rick Scott transition team, and served as chief of staff for Bush and then-Vice President-elect Dick Cheney.
Susan Story currently serves as the chair of the Florida Council of 100, and is the immediate past chair of Florida Chamber of Commerce. The Florida Council of 100 calls itself “a forum of strategic thinkers and leaders having a major positive effect on Florida public policy that enhances the quality of life and economic well-being of all Floridians.”
Mark Kaplan served as chief of staff to both Bush and Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings
Businessman John Badget was appointed by Crist to the State Board of Education, and by Bush as interim superintendent of Monroe County Schools in 2003 and 2004.
The new bill’s draft language: