I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Teachers are Upset About SB6

I've received several emails from one group of High School Reading teachers on the subject of Senate Bill 6.  This Bill, if passed, will overhaul and drastically change the way teachers are paid and evaluated in the State of Florida.  I have concerns about this bill, but there are some aspects that I find very appealing, so I have mixed feelings at this point. 

The bill passed the senate Prek-12 Education Committee yesterday by a 6-2 vote.

a very informative analysis of this bill can be found here

Here is one of the emails that I received:  (my response below)

"Mr. Bergosh,

I respectfully disagree with the tying of teachers' job security or pay with students' performance. My argument is based on my experience with both elementary and high school teaching. I have taught at XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, and XXXXXXXXX. When I earned my master's degree, I moved to XXXXXXXXXXXX. I teach 11th and 12th grade FCAT retakers, levels 1 and 2. It takes a great deal to motivate some of my students to come to school, much less erase negative feelings about standardized tests enough to get them to believe they can pass. One of my students mentioned he was the only one in his family that was not on probation. I am not the only retake teacher, sadly enough. We are all trying to convince our students they can succeed. That is my first priority. If I can bring them up one level, I feel hopeful. I love my students and my job. Don't give the power simply to the numbers.

Thank you,"

Here is another one:

"It amazes me how people can make laws that have dire consequences on the education of our youth. It is already extremely difficult to entice our young people to either enter the teaching profession, or to remain in it. With the passage of legislation of this type we will continue to lose more talented professionals which in turn will adversely affect scores of children. If your objective is to destroy public education, this is certainly another great idea, along with senseless testing. I encourage you to spend time teaching in a classroom if you truly care about children so that you can make informed decisions about the education of our children."





My Response:


Thank you for the input. I've been looking into these bills for several days now, and I'm hopeful that the best parts of each bill can be saved and that the worst parts will be ditched.

My major concern--my overriding fear--is that this is another power grab by the state which will further erode "local control" of Florida District School Boards.

Another huge concern that I have is the mandated additional millage levy provision, and associated language that states that a district has "violated state law by not adopting a pay scale that emphasizes student achievement" (paraphrased). I'm concerned that many Florida District School Boards will simply be unable to overcome Union objections, obstacles, lawsuits, and grievances-- and actually comply with this law--- and the taxpayers will be the ones paying the price with more taxes and additional millage levies.

These bills will be the subject of a portion of a special discussion workshop meeting with the School Board tomorrow afternoon (Thursday, Mar. 11) at 3 PM at the McDaniel Building downtown. We would be delighted to have you come and speak to the board and voice your opinions.

Thanks again for your input, and thanks for what you do for the students of Escambia County!

Jeff Bergosh

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