Florida’s New Teacher Merit Pay Plan lacks both Merit and Pay
“It’s going to allow our teachers that believe in measurement to get paid better because they’re going to be the most effective ones, and the real winner here is the kids,” said Governor Rick Scott as he signed SB736/Teacher Merit Pay bill.
Last week, New York admitted that their teacher merit plan was an abject failure. After three years spent shelling out $56 million dollars, New York abandoned their Teacher Merit Pay Plan when a study from the RAND Corporation concluded that it does not increase teacher or student performance.
Florida’s Teacher Merit Pay Plan is an oxymoron, a Jumbo Shrimp. Where is the “merit” in a pay plan that state legislators, driven by national politics, hastily passed without providing a single red cent of funding? Teacher Merit Pay will cost Florida taxpayers $2 Billion dollars in start-up and $1.8 Billion every year.
Governor Scott’s pitch is that “the real winner here is the kids.” This is where the rhetoric of bold applause comes up short. Florida’s Teacher Merit Pay bill forces one high-stakes test to morph into thousands. The real winner is Pearson, the testing giant who has the exclusive contract to administer high-stakes tests to Florida children.
The facts speak for themselves:
· Massive expansion of expensive, unproven, untested high-stakes tests
· No pilot program or test group to determine the stability of this aggressive reform
· No funding whatsoever
· $2 Billion start-up, $1.8 Billion annual maintenance
Repeated studies that show Merit Pay does not work. One researcher even suggested that perhaps teachers don’t need a financial incentive to try as hard as they can.
The children of Florida deserve so much more than an ill-conceived, punitive law devised to destroy some of the most beloved and important people in their lives: their teachers.
Does any of this make sense? What do you think?