The legislation, which positions Florida as a leader in the teacher tenure battle, would require new teachers to work under one-year contracts beginning in July, effectively ending tenure. As of 2014, contracts would be renewed based on evaluations, half of which would be tied to how students perform on assessment tests. The evaluations could lead to raises, or dismissals if teachers perform poorly two out of three years. Tenured teachers could opt into the merit pay system, but they would face the possibility of dismissal because of unsatisfactory evaluations regardless.Details and funds for implementation seem shaky, with the schools assigned responsibility for developing some of the tests to be used for evaluating teachers.
Teachers who work in troubled schools or in certain specialties, like special education, could earn more money under the bill.
Florida House Approves Ending Tenure for New Teachers – NYT, 3/16/11Plus, they said, the bill comes with no money attached to develop the required tests or hand out merit raises. Once the bill becomes law, school districts will have until 2014 to develop tests. The state’s biggest standardized test, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, will be used for some grades and subjects, but districts must develop separate exams for all other subjects in each grade, an expensive undertaking.