Jeb Bush joins Florida Business Leaders to Applaud the Florida House for Passage of Landmark Reform
Friday, April 09, 2010
“Today was a terrific day for students in Florida. The bold, visionary reform passed by the Florida House today will improve the quality of education in Florida by rewarding teachers for their success and commitment to student learning,” said Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida and Chairman of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “I applaud Representative John Legg for his courageous leadership in transforming Florida’s education system into a model for the nation.”
SB 6 (formerly HB 7189) creates a dedicated pool of funding, starting at $900 million, to reward teachers in high-poverty schools, teachers of high-demand subjects such as math and science, and teachers whose students show annual academic progress. Rewarding teachers with high salaries will create the environment for a dynamic and highly-skilled teaching workforce, which is vital to the future of our students and our economy.
“Paying more to retain and recruit highly-skilled mathematicians and scientists as classroom teachers will ensure more students are better prepared to succeed in the 21st century global economy,” said Susan Pareigis, Executive Director of the Council of 100 and member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “Paying more to teachers who work in high-poverty schools will attract the best and brightest to the greatest moral and economic imperative to our era – closing the achievement gap, once and for all.”
The bill ends a lifetime guarantee of employment, known commonly as tenure, for newly hired teachers. The bill requires student performance, for the first time, to be part of a teacher’s annual evaluation. Under the bill, half of the teacher’s annual evaluation will be based on whether their students learned a year’s worth of knowledge in a year’s time. Currently, evaluations are 100% subjective, often based primarily on the observations and opinions of principals. Adding data as a measure of teacher effectiveness makes the evaluation process more objective.
“Evaluating and paying teachers based on what matters – student learning – places the focus on students, not the adults in the system,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “This requirement rewards teachers who are preparing students to succeed in the next grade – and ultimately, life after school.”
“Thanks to the strong commitment to educational quality by the Florida Legislature during the last decade, Florida is better preparing its students for the new global marketplace through successful programs like these. However, our work is far from finished,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “The Foundation for Florida’s Future applauds the state’s legislators and looks forward to Governor Crist signing this great legislation into law.”
For more information on the Foundation for Florida’s Future’s commitment to advocating policies that keep the promise of a quality education for all of Florida’s students, please visit www.afloridapromise.org.
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