"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SB 6 Vetoed

The Rovian strategy of the neocons is to move policy talk so far right that Bush policies begin to appear mainstream. This is what happened in Florida with SB 6. When corporatists regroup to offer their version of SB 7 for destroying public education and the teaching profession, it will be something that only Margaret Spellings could love, but it will be hailed as a liberal victory and celebrated by Randi Weingarten. From Tampa Bay Online:

TALLAHASSEE - Gov. Charlie Crist has just vetoed SB 6, ending a week of suspense and protests against the controversial teacher tenure bill sponsored by the chairman of Crist's own political party.

Crist's action goes against conservative leaders, including former Gov. Jeb Bush, and will likely spur more speculation that he plans to break from the party and run as an independent for U.S. Senate.

Crist sited "several issues of concern," about the bill, which would have been ended traditional tenure for teachers hired after July 1 and tied teacher salaries and recertification directly to student performances on tests.

It would have also made it easier for districts to freeze pay and even fire experienced teachers deemed to be ineffective.

Crist said among his concerns was that the bill did not accommodate special education students and teachers. "There must be more consideration given to their individual needs than is afforded in this bill."

He also said he was concerned that the state's control in the bill would infringe on the constitutional right of local control and the way the bill went through the legislature, bypassing teachers and others.

"I find the content of Senate Bill 6 and the manner of its adoption significantly flawed," said Crist.

The issue of merit pay, which he said he supports, is "worthy of future pursuit in a collaborative setting… We must start over. This bill has deeply and negatively affected the morale of our teachers and our parents. They do not believe their voices have been heard." . . . .

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