Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gov. Charlie Crist cites problems with teacher pay bill

April 15, 2010

CONTACT: Staci Maiers, NEA Public Relations
(202) 822-7823,

Florida’s Governor Crist vetoes drastic anti-education legislation

***Today’s victory a ‘true testament’ to working together, says NEA’s Van

WASHINGTON—In the wake of a massive public outcry, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist
(R) today vetoed State Senate Bill 6 (H.B. 7189), legislation that would have
based virtually all school and personnel decisions on scores from standardized,
fill-in-the-bubble tests.

The following statement may be attributed to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Today was an important day for Florida’s students. The governor recognized that
the key to great public schools is great teachers, and the way to keep great
teachers in Florida’s classrooms is to empower them, not punish them.

“I commend Governor Crist for vetoing SB 6 and ensuring that this harmful and
disruptive legislation did not become law. He listened to tens of thousands of
educators and other Floridians who clearly saw a better path for Florida’s


I am a believer in better teacher evaluations, but this isn't the way to do it. You have to have buy-in by the teachers union, the public, and most importantly, the teachers themselves. You can't fire all the mediocre teachers. Who would take their place? The goal is to change the teaching methods of those that aren't up to snuff, and for that you need to get teachers to agree to change.

Gov. Charlie Crist cites problems with teacher pay bill
The governor's decision on how to handle the teacher pay bill is likely to have ramifications on his own political career.
Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE -- In the midst of the most intense lobbying he has faced as governor, Charlie Crist faces a stark choice: Sign a bill opposed by thousands of Florida teachers or veto it and alienate major forces in the business community and the Republican-led Legislature.

... But Crist has cited multiple problems with the teacher pay bill that point to a potential veto:

• It takes too much power away from local educators.

• It offers vague guidance on how teachers will be evaluated.

• It was pushed through the House and Senate with little input from the public.

His decision could have sweeping ramifications not only on state politics, but also his career. Crist is trailing in the polls behind former House Speaker and conservative Marco Rubio, who supports the measure...

The legislation proposes the most dramatic overhaul of Florida public schools in years, linking teacher pay to student performance -- not on years of experience or education level...

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