Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coming to Your State Soon?

The Florida senate passed a bill yesterday that, if it's passed by the Florida house and signed into law, will pretty much guarantee that nobody who has any other options will choose to teach. Here are some of the key elements (from the Valerie's Strauss's "The Answer Sheet" blog in The Washington Post):

The bill would:

*Require that school systems evaluate and pay teachers primarily on the basis of student test scores. Testing experts say this is an invalid assessment tool.
*Require that experience, advanced degrees or professional certification not be considered when paying teachers.
*Require that new teachers be put on probation for five years and then work on one-year contracts, which would allow any principal to easily get rid of any teacher who bothered them in any way.
*Require the creation of new annual tests for every subject that is not measured already by state assessments or other tests, such as the Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate end-of-course tests.

Due process? Valid and reliable research? Teachers as professionals? Apparently those are old-fashioned concepts. The whole column is worth reading. You can find it here.

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