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Monday, February 1, 2016

What passes for the best and brightest in Tallahassee.

This is what passes for the best and brightest in Tallahassee.

The Florida house is proposing giving tens of millions of dollars to a few thousand teachers in a program called the best and brightest bonuses. Teachers that scored in the top twenty percent of their SAT scores and achieved highly effective evaluations are eligible.

There are a few problems there. First there is no relationship between how well someone does on the SAT and how well someone teaches. It disqualifies teachers who went through community colleges or the military who didn’t take the SAT and older veteran teachers who started teaching before the SAT was used to get into college.

Evaluations also aren’t uniform, what might be highly effective in one district might be effective in another and vice versa. Then finally teachers have overwhelmingly come out against it. That’s right Florida’s teachers some of the lowest paid and most put upon in the nation have said no thanks. However true to form the Florida legislature had ignored the states teachers and pushed it forward.

Instead of giving a few teachers a few thousand more why doesn’t the legislature use this money to help districts with the class size amendment, to bring back the arts and trades to our schools or to put in social workers, mental health counselors and guidance counselors in our schools because quite often why a student acts up or does poorly n school has nothing to do with school.

This is a vanity bill that a few state legislators are pushing despite the face that there is no evidence backing it up, we have more pressing needs and teachers have said no thanks.

It’s sad but true that when you talk about our best and brightest you can’t talk about many of our politicians in Tallahassee, worst and dimmest would be more appropriate.


  1. This is embarrassing in our state and
    on a national level.

  2. And this is where I am torn; either I take the money (as I fulfill the requirements) or it goes to some first-year teacher with high SAT/ACT scores. If the government wants to make ridiculous decisions, then it is time for me to take advantage of it. I only get paid about 4000 more than a first year teacher, and I have a Masters with 10 years of teaching experience and great gains.

  3. Did the Times Union print the list of those who will get the money?