Yesterday a bill passed 80-39 in the Florida House of Representatives that would end the tenure system for new teachers and base their job security and salaries on their students’ performance on achievement tests. The bill has already passed in the state Senate and will now go to Republican Governor Rick Scott to be signed.
Andy Ford, president of the Florida Education Association, stated, “There’s no research evidence that this legislation will help our children in public schools. We’ve looked closely at plenty of scientifically sound, peer reviewed research out there that shows this is the wrong approach to take to implement performance pay and to revamp evaluations.”
The bill would allow currently employed teachers to remain in the tenure system but would require that newly hired teachers work under one-year contracts and reapply for their jobs annually. Starting in 2014, the teachers’ contracts would be renewed based on evaluations of their students’ achievement on standardized tests. House Democrats criticized the bill, saying that it would discourage Florida teachers, who already have the lowest overall salaries in the country, and would give money to testing companies.