From Mark Woods: This bill is about having “the best and brightest teachers” in our classrooms.
That’s what Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, keeps saying about the sweeping education reform which is scheduled for a floor vote Wednesday.
Senate Bill 6 would tie half of a teacher’s pay to how his or her students perform on one end-of-year test.
It would mean that during a five-year span, a teacher’s students would need to show gains on these yet-to-be-determined tests in four of those years. If the students don’t show such gains, the teacher could lose his or her teaching certificate and the ability to teach not only in Florida, but also in some other states.
It would mean, Thrasher has said repeatedly, that we will get the best possible teachers into our classrooms.
So with that in mind, I decided to talk to some of the best and the brightest in our classrooms now — including people who have been named Teacher of the Year for our local districts and, in some cases, the entire state.
I talked to elementary teachers and high school teachers, math teachers and English teachers, teachers in rural schools and teachers in urban schools, Republicans and Democrats.
And here is the first thing worth noting: Not one of the more than a dozen teachers was in favor of Senate Bill 6.
That alone seems like a *****ing indictment.
If I were writing about health care reform, I could easily find people in the field on both sides of the issue. But on this issue, it is hard to find teachers who support it. I called Thrasher’s offices in Tallahassee on Monday and Jacksonville on Wednesday and asked his staff to help me find one teacher in favor of his bill. (Not counting his own daughter, a former teacher.) I never did hear back. Keep reading here.