Thursday, March 31, 2011

Teacher pay-tenure bill passed in Florida Senate

Florida continues to be among the leading states in shaking up the status quo:

Split nearly along party lines, the Florida Senate voted to abolish teacher tenure and link pay raises to student advancement today.

Sen. Steve Wise, R-Jacksonville, a retired teacher who heads the Senate public education committee, said the schools need serious reform if Florida is to compete. He likened the provisions of his "pay for performance" bill to management of a baseball team, with .205 hitters making less than .300 batters.

"I care about teachers," Wise emphasized. He said Florida has made great strides in public education over the past 12 years but still has seven of the nation's 10 worst school districts in terms of graduating black boys from college.

The bill is a revised version of one that touched off a firestorm last year, when teacher unions picketed the Capitol over a plan ending tenure and linking pay to performance. Then-Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed the measure, known as Senate Bill 6, but the state's teacher unions oppose the new plan -- which Democrats dubbed "Son of Six."


Teacher pay-tenure bill passed in Florida Senate

Bill Cotterell
Florida Capital Bureau

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