October 3, 2011 – The Hechinger Report
Florida Districts Prepare for Mandated Merit Pay
The way teachers are paid in Manatee County -- and in all of Florida -- is poised for a big shakeup in the next few years. By 2014, all districts will have to adopt a scale that determines salary based on teacher performance, as a result of controversial Senate Bill 736. The law also dictates that 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation must be tied to student test scores through a complex and controversial formula known as value-added. Using multivariable calculus, value-added predicts what a student’s score on a standardized test would be, and then holds the teacher accountable for at least reaching that mark. Most of the research on performance pay has found no significant impact on student performance. Still, a national merit pay movement, spurred by competition for grants like President Barack Obama’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top, is gaining momentum.