Thursday, March 17, 2011

Florida ending tenure for teachers

Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign a bill ending tenure for new teachers.
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.
Teachers who work in troubled schools or in certain specialties, like special education, could earn more money under the bill. 
Details and funds for implementation seem shaky, with the schools assigned responsibility for developing some of the tests to be used for evaluating teachers.
Plus, 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.
Florida House Approves Ending Tenure for New Teachers – NYT, 3/16/11


  1. It is just going to make it even more difficult to attract quality teachers. But Florida's education system is so bad, it probably can't sink any lower.

    I am not a huge fan of K12 style tenure (which is very different from the system in higher ed). However, if we keep taking away the non salary perks of the job, salaries are going to have to rise significantly, or else we will end up with illiterates teaching. I know you think teachers are already illiterates, but honestly, it can get much much worse.

  2. Hey, I don't think teachers are illiterates. I just wish more focus would be placed on things like grammar and "complex" literature. Not that I am an expert on these things . . .