The Board of Education is expected today to approve a proposal that would give some teachers a bonus equal to 5 percent of their salary. The extra pay would be based solely on their ability to show student learning gains on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
But the biggest impediment could be lack of teacher support. Unlike Denver officials, who worked closely with the teacher’s union, Florida education officials didn’t consult with the state teachers union until after they had a draft of their plan.
When performance pay is “forced on teachers, you have a war,” said Allan Odden, professor of educational administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “And if you’re having a war, it’s unlikely to be an incentive to improving student learning.”
A commission would be created to design the new compensation program, which would likely include the measurement of student improvement over a year’s time as a yardstick of how well a teacher is performing.
Democrats reacted cautiously to the Senate Republicans’ merit pay initiative.
“I think the responsible course of action would be for us to first come to agreement on what such a program would entail,” said Vilsack.