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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gnashing of Teeth over Florida's Best and Brightest Continues

The Crab Mentality:  If one crab is on the verge of escaping the bucket, the others in the bucket pull him back in...

Yes, there is HUGE gnashing of teeth by special interests over the idea of paying bonuses to some, but not all, teachers.

....Yet the Senate Pre-K Education sub-committee passed this bill that would do just this out of committee with a substitute amendment today.

Sure, there is no perfect system for rating/ranking teachers, and everybody knows this.  As a result, when it comes to rewarding great teachers no system satisfies everybody.  And no system ever survives the wrath of the guardians of the status quo, the "one potato for you, one potato for you everyone is equal devoid of seniority" types.

The perfect becomes the enemy of the good, and the ball does not move forward.  Or it does very slowly and sputteringly as was the case with 2007's Merit Award Plan, which was passed and signed by the Governor with great fanfare yet only implemented in 9 of 67 counties the first year, and subsequently killed two years later.

So now comes the "Best and Brightest" award, an approach that looks backward at college entrance scores and rewards teachers who did well on their ACT and or SAT scores.  An interesting approach that rewarded those teachers who applied and met the criteria with $10,000 bonuses, this idea is HATED by the teacher's unions because it does not reward every teacher equally.

And now the detractors come with every possible complaint and problem imaginable with this bill.

Newsflash--it is not perfect, but it will help keep those high achieving students who stick with teaching as a career--it will keep them motivated to stay in the profession.  This isn't the be all, end all, we can still look for ways to reward all teachers.

But in the meantime, we should find ways to keep these bright teachers in our classrooms, as we work on raising all salaries and finding improved ways to recognize great teachers.

Let's not channel the crabs in a bucket mentality here, where the group keeps any and all from escaping the bucket because they can't.

I want to find every way possible for us to recognize, reward, and pay the great salaries and bonuses to the great teachers who go into, and stay, in one of the most important jobs in our nation---educating students!

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