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Former FL Teacher of Year says he was once denied merit pay based on flawed data.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 10:10 PM
Original message
Former FL Teacher of Year says he was once denied merit pay based on flawed data.
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 10:17 PM by madfloridian
It was less than a month after he had been named Florida's Teacher of the year. This was the last time that Florida attempted merit pay for teachers, and the test was simply inadequate.

Good for him for speaking out. All teachers need to do so. What just happened to Florida's teachers will begin to happen in other states, trust me.

From the Orlando Sentinel blog:

Former FL teacher of year (Orange science teacher) joins chorus urging Crist to veto merit pay bill

On behalf of teachers across Florida I ask that you veto the teacher merit pay bill now coming to your desk. As the 2008 Department of Education Teacher of the Year, I travelled across the state, meeting and representing the students and teachers of Florida. Based upon letters and emails I have received over the last few weeks, I know the pulse of Floridas teachers, both union and non-union.

I am not a member of the FEA. I am thirty one year, award winning teacher and I do not fear merit pay. But this bill is fatally flawed. At a time when districts are on the verge of economic collapse, 5% of next years budget will have to be devoted to creating new tests. Why? National results show marked gains in Floridas student achievement, we have been recognized as having one of the largest groups of National Board Certified Teachers in the country, our drop out rate continues to fall, and we continue to make significant gains in AP high school testing. Teachers across our state have been working for the past few years without wage increases, we have seen a decreases in benefits and we continue to work for less than all but a handful of teachers in other states. Yet we have done so in good will working with our local school districts. To have a bill pushed through the Senate and House with little teacher input reeks foul and sends a message to all teacher in Florida, union and nonunion, that our efforts are not valued, our advanced degrees and training are worthless, and all of the hard work that has been spent trying to help children is unappreciated. Regardless of the intent, this is the reality of this bill.


This part is so important. It goes to the issue of how to determine a good teacher. One test given to the students will not do it, trust me...it will not.

Read what happened to this Teacher of the Year.

We are told that high performing teachers will have nothing to fear. But I remind you that in the last attempt at merit testing, the tests were so flawed that less than a month after being named Floridas Teacher of the Year, I was denied merit based upon a test that your own Department of Education admitted was inadequate. Who will create these tests for exceptional education teachers, media specialists, pre-k teachers, curriculum resource teachers, guidance counselors, teachers of the profoundly challenged, second language teachers, and the hundreds of other positions that exist to meet the specific needs of our children. Despite the assertion that teachers will flock to Florida, they will not. The pot of money for education has not gotten larger, why come to a state that trails in base salary? Risk takers need not apply, unless you are really willing to bet your paycheck on it. And why should an award winning, Nationally Board Certified, highly educated person take a chance on Florida.


This is Jeb's hand stirring the pot. He is controlling things behind the scenes.

The hardest thing for me has been that he is right on board with the education agenda of President Obama.

Video:

Jeb Bush is delighted that Obama is taking on teachers' unions.

Jeb has been traveling the country talking about education. He has made it clear he is very happy with the way the new administration is pushing for more testing and for more charter schools. These were his goals also, and they were the goals of Newt Gingrich and other Republicans. They are seeing their dreams come true with Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education.

This is from Morning Joe.

He actually states how pleased he is to see this administration confronting one of their core constituencies, the teachers' unions. Harold Ford, who appears to be part of the panel on Morning Joe seems to agree with Jeb. He asked if Jeb approved of the goals which demand that unions "play by a different set of rules."

I would like to say that Jeb is speaking things that are not true. Trouble is, he is right. Duncan already set up confrontations with teachers' unions and states.


What just happened in Florida this week could mean the end of real public education in Florida. Teachers will be even more scripted than before, teaching to more tests than ever before.

True learning involves the whole child. It has depth, it is intangible. Real learning is part of the child, not something that be repeated in a rote manner on a multiple choice test.





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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. "why should an award winning, Nationally Board Certified, highly educated person take chance on FL"
Good question.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. He needs to go to remedial punctuation class
Edited on Sat Apr-10-10 11:30 PM by Cronus Protagonist
And a brush up on grammar wouldn't hurt either.

("all teacher" missing an "s" - inappropriate commas, missing question mark, and so on.)
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Don't dispute what he wrote, just bitch about petty matters.
How typical of the anti-public school crowd.
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. I didn't dispute what he wrote and I'm not anti public school, nor am I in that "crowd"
And I still think people who teach ought to have exemplary language skills. I'm sorry to hear you don't care much about that, but hey, you have plenty of company.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Typical now to nitpick.
I expect it. Our country treats teachers so badly, and this Democratic administration is making it worse.

Go ahead nitpick. I am going to keep posting about the injustices being done to teachers.

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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. The above poster wants to pretend he is SO superior to those stupid
teachers that he can nitpick about punctuation and so forth. Only stupid people go into education, after all.

Why isn't HE "teacher of the year" if he thinks he's better than the letter writer?
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. Hey, I'm sitting right here
I can nitpick about punctuation and so forth because the letter he wrote is glaring in its errors, and I happen to have the skills to spot them. I never said only stupid people go into education -- you did. And I'm not "teacher of the year" mostly because I don't work as one and therefore have no access to such an award. And I don't think I'm better than that teacher, I just have better grammar and spelling skills. Then again, I'm not working as a paid teacher and therefore should not be held to as high a standard as our teachers ought to be held. Nonetheless, I do have a higher standard than this teacher in grammar and spelling, particularly when his missive was written to be publicly disseminated and his lacking is therefore doubly embarrassing, given it's probably his absolute best effort.

And you are lacking in comprehension skills, but you're not a teacher, so it hardly matters.

The education system in this country will not improve as long as many people apologize for poor English skills in the teaching body by ridiculing those who want to hold teachers, and by extension, their students to higher, world class standards. I would hold out more hope for the education system here if people, instead of dumping on me, had said, "Oh, he's right, we do need better educated teachers". At least THEN, you could claim to care a little about the people being educated. As it is, you cannot, because you defend mediocrity and ridicule competency.

You want to know why the education system is failing in this country? Look at your own attitude.


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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-10-10 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. In fact I intend to write my posts and not respond much.
Just let the snide remarks roll on out.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. You know, the issues here are too important to be trivialized
by the lack of a fucking apostrophe. And how do you know it was the teacher? It could have been a bad edit or a platform transfer screw up. It's irrelevant to the point being made. Or are you trying to play the superiority card?
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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Apparently
You are lacking in both discrimination and sensibility. I will not engage you further as I see no desire for edification. You may continue to defend mediocrity and error while our education system goes down the proverbial tube. Clearly, the path to making a difference in education is lost to you.

And I ask you all to ask yourselves why you defend mediocrity in grammar when you do not do so in sports or entertainment? I would drop dead if I heard a sports caster say something like, "He carried the ball elegantly, and it doesn't matter that he let it slip out of his fingers before the touchdown could be made, because it's more important not to nit pick about the goal when clearly he did his mediocre best at carrying the ball."

QED.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Clearly, you have no clue what you're talking about.
It doesn't take long for educators to recognize non-educator poseurs, the "armchair teachers." Rather than focus on issues, you pick up on the trivial and try to make it symbolize the whole.

BTW, the only proof here is that you don't know what you're talking about so no QED is warranted.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. It's a shame you chose to completely ignore what he wrote
and instead chose to argue about punctuation and grammar. That says much about what kind of person you are.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. Makes one wonder if they will get the new merit pay tests right....
or if they don't know how to formulate a test like this.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
8. "Nation watches Florida push for merit pay"
Yes, that is true. And now that FL has passed this bill, other states will quickly follow.

Nation watches Florida push for merit pay

Many teachers watched with horror last week as Florida lawmakers passed what may be the most controversial and sweeping education overhaul in the history of the state, with changes that will tie their pay to student performance and eliminate long-term contracts.

Having lost a bitter fight against Republicans pushing the legislation, many teachers now have pinned their hopes on a veto from Gov. Charlie Crist. But teachers aren't the only ones monitoring the state's political leaders.

Florida is at the center of a budding national movement to pay teachers for how much their students learn, and to fire them if students don't learn enough.

One reason the action in Tallahassee is getting so much attention: No one really knows whether merit pay works, and few states have gone as far and as fast as Florida did Thursday night and early Friday in an emotionally charged marathon House session. One legislator opposed to the measure called it "Frankenstein's monster."

"The state is getting ahead of itself. The science isn't there. The data isn't there," said Jack Jennings, president of the Center for Education Policy, a nonprofit organization in Washington that researches and tracks educational issues nationwide.


Other states likely won't wait to see what works in Florida, they will simply barrel ahead with their own plans.

The climate is right now with teachers put down by both parties. Other states will go for it.
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. AZ is first in line behind Florida
"SB1040 S/E is a teacher and principal evaluations bill sponsored by Senator Huppenthal and Representative Crandall. It requires the State Board of Education by December 15, 2011, to establish and maintain a model framework for a teacher and principal evaluation instrument that uses quantitative data on student academic progress for at least 50% of the evaluation outcomes. It also requires school districts and charter schools to use this instrument to annually evaluate individual teachers and principals beginning in school year 2012-2013."

http://www.arizonaea.org/politics.php?page=44

Does this mean that tests will need to be developed for all subjects?

I really think Arizona legislators' pay should be tied to their abililty to pass a budget in a timely manner. They had something like 8 special sessions the past year. How much did that cost? And now they're wasting money on the HCR lawsuit. Yep. It's the Valley of the Dumb.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
9. "high performing teachers will have nothing to fear." MI forcing retirement using pension threats.
Look what's happening there. All teachers will have to be fearful.

Devastation capitalism

Devastation Capitalism

The controversy has been heating up for quite a while (see www.bamn.org for more or dailycensored.com). Perhaps soon-to-be-recalled, DFT President, Keith Johnson, late last year huddled with Robert Bobb, to put together the contract agreement that would force teachers to give up concessions demanded by the city, including a pay freeze, millions of dollars in cuts in health care, reduced prep time, the introduction of merit pay and the expansion of charter schools, and the $500 a month deduction from pay checks, insultingly packaged as an investment on the part of teachers (this is the Termination Incentive Plan). Also contained in the illegal contract is what is called the Priority Schools clause. The clause allows an unlimited amount of priority schools to be run as charter schools, by teachers being treated as Walmart associates or at will employees based on one year contracts. The move would create a system of not just associates but also would allow any administrator to cherry pick teachers, using favoritism and discrimination. This is all an attempt to meet the market-based application requirements of Race to the Top.

In an effort to get the teachers to accept the concessions, both Robb and Johnson collaborated, using combined threats and lies in an attempt to push the contract through. Johnson warned teachers that if the contract were voted down, the union would not come back with anything better. He echoed Robb and told teachers they would be faced with the prospect of a declaration of bankruptcy, mass layoffs and a permanent reduction in wages and benefits.


More on what Granholm, the Democratic governor, is going along with in MI.

MI Dem governor Granholm using pensions to force retirement of experienced teachers.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) has not been much of a leader in working peoples organizations but this might be about to change. The main concern of the union over the years has been to basically protect the bloated salaries and privileges of the trade union executives, like Keith Johnson, the pathetic president of DFT. In fact, union executives have been openly working with the school authorities in Detroit to force hundreds, if not thousands, of experienced teachers to retire, so they can be replaced by a low-wage instructors, forced to work in charter schools without the slightest rights or input on how children are taught nor any control over curriculum or the day to day running of the schools.

In return for this largess and sell-out support, the DFT has been given assurances from their president, Keith Johnson, and his executives, that it will continue to collect dues income from teachers, and will participate in the myriad joint labor-management committees to police teachers. This is all a part of the Obama/Duncan Race to the Top. Sound familiar? Sure it does, it is magically growing like a fungus all over the nation, as you know if you have been following the saga

The last years tentative three-year contract between Detroit Public Schools and its teachers union included the district essentially getting up to $10,000 in interest-free and un-secured loans to be funded by each of Detroits educators for forty weeks. The Detroit News reported teachers were being asked to agree to a $250 pre-tax deduction from 40 biweekly paychecks starting in January to fund the loan. Teachers would get the $10,000 back once they leave. Its called the grotesquely labeled, Termination Incentive Plan (Associated Press, December 6, 2009)


Be afraid. It's not just Florida.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. No it's not just Florida
It's everywhere. Coming to a state near you soon. :)
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. And it will happen quickly now.
All over the place.
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tonysam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. As I said, twenty years from now there will be NO public schools if this isn't reversed
Edited on Sun Apr-11-10 06:21 PM by tonysam
Everything will be distance learning, with "technicians" following scripts instead of real teachers teaching real curriculum, these "technicians" will be from China and India and working for pennies a day with their online courses, while students will be screwed out of real interaction because of being "chained" to computers all day long.

No wonder Gatesey baby and his old lady are so big into education "reform."
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
16. "Prom king angry that they weren't named school Valedictorian"
Different measurement systems produce different results. Imagine that. I'd expect a science teacher to understand such a concept.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. What a degrading thing to say about a teacher of the year.
Updating my list which I just cleared out. Welcome to being first.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Are you degrading prom kings?
The Florida teacher of the year program:
http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/yeartch.asp

It's not a teaching merit contest. Plain and simple.

A horrible, but well liked, teacher is just as eligible for nomination as an excellent teacher that refuses to play popularity games. However, since the district superintendents act as gatekeepers, it's more likely that social politics determine who is nominated.

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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
17. I got a merit pay "bonus" check many years ago in CA.
It was part of the "standards and accountability" reform there that included high-stakes testing and API; money was promised to schools for API scores.

It was for $1.38. That's how much we "merited," lol. I took a photocopy of the check before I cashed it. Not because I needed the $1.38, or because I supported the idea of merit pay; just the opposite.

I just wanted the fools whose idea it was to have to pay up.

That was the first and last year that any checks were sent out; budget problems cut that portion of the new program. Then GWB was elected, NCLB came into being, and AYP took precedence, with API running behind.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-11-10 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
24. Because merit pay isn't about how to help students. It is to help enrich Wall Street billionares.nt
`
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