I have a feeling this will be a big event.   If you are in this area of Florida, show your support for teachers who are fighting Jeb’s education machine in this state.   As a retired teacher, I take very personally what they have done to our public schools.  They are giving tax money to private religious schools whose agendas are not monitored.  They are planning on more vouchers, even though the courts have consistently ruled against their tactics.

This event in the ad is primarily about the FCAT, but I hear there might be more to come.

I have seen no article about it, just this ad paid for with hard-earned teachers’ salaries by members of the county teachers group.  

They have tied teacher pay to how students score on the FCAT.   Just imagine the field day frustrated students could have with that.   I talked to some the other day who said that “Christmas-Treeing” was becoming more common as the frustration mounted with their ability to score well on a test not commensurate with their abilities. “Christmas treeing” is hurriedly filling in the bubbles using various designs, not even bothering to read the test.  Trust me, for some it becomes a mind game.  

Here is an article from the Washington Post about this new merit pay system.   Happily,  locally most people see through this as a stupid and uninformed move.    Most see it as dehumanizing students to fit into a corporate mindset.  I have been pleasantly surprised at the reaction to it overall.

Florida to link teacher pay to test scores.

HIALEAH, Fla. — A new pay-for-performance program for Florida’s teachers will tie raises and bonuses directly to pupils’ standardized-test scores beginning next year, marking the first time a state has so closely linked the wages of individual school personnel to their students’ exam results.

This appears to fill in the category of turning schools into factories, and as the WP says it is being viewed as a landmark in the movement to restructure schools.  If Jeb’s legislative machine succeeds here,  other states may be looking at the model.

The effort, now being adopted by local districts, is viewed as a landmark in the movement to restructure American schools by having them face the same kind of competitive pressures placed on private enterprise, and advocates say it could serve as a national model to replace traditional teacher pay plans that award raises based largely on academic degrees and years of experience.

But teachers unions and some education experts say any effort to evaluate teachers exclusively on test-score improvements will not work, because schools are not factories and their output is not so easily measured. An exam, they say, cannot measure how much teachers have inspired students, or whether they have instilled in them a lifelong curiosity. Moreover, some critics say, the explicit profit motive could overshadow teacher-student relationships.

I have no way yet of knowing if other counties are fighting this openly.   I hope you will support these teachers in Florida if you are nearby.   Maybe you could email the PEA :


Or write the education editors at the paper in which the ad was published:

Julia Crouse

Education Reporter

Dept.: Metro Desk

(863) 802-7536


 Andrew Dunn

Education reporter

Dept.: Metro Desk

(863) 802-7588


Or write a letter to the editor:


I taught for many great years, but I am glad I am out of it now.   They are trying to treat schools in a corporate friendly manner, but they have forgotten about all the warm bodies in the classrooms who depend on human caring and understanding….and who depend on our schools basing their agenda on the premise that we are all different and have different ways of learning.  

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