Florida Teacher Tenure/SB6 Draws Massive Outcry

Although Florida is not one of two states awarded “Race to the Top” money by the Federal government, the sponsor of controversial legislation in Tallahassee to end teacher tenure and create merit pay says the state can apply for a second round in June. But hundreds of thousands of emails are urging lawmakers to be careful.

Amanda Clodfelter brought a bag of letters with her when she came to the Capitol to protest merit pay and a plan to end teacher tenure. But the bill continues to steam-roll through the Capitol.

Now lawmakers, like Rep. Keith Fitzgerald of Sarasota, are being inundated with perhaps as many as a hundred thousand emails like this one.

“Teachers cannot control the home environment, parents with no language skills. This bill threatens their job, see, it’s not my job, and will hurt the students who depend on them.”

Fitzgerald says many are mass forwarded. Many are not.

“We’re trying to compete for the best nationwide and we’ve made this a hostile climate with this bill.”

Mark Pudlow of The Florida Education Association says the plan to end tenure has teachers and parents motivated.

“There are a lot of teachers in the state of Florida that are really upset about this bill and they’re making their voices heard.”

Despite the massive outcry, the legislation is expected to clear the state house soon. Given the breakneck speed with which this bill is moving through the legislature, the teachers’ only real hope of stopping it may be here.

Governor Charlie Crist says he is predisposed to sign the legislation depending on how the final bill reads. And so far, he is not a target of the email campaign, having received less than 400 of them.

Lawmakers are rushing to pass the bill ending teacher tenure by the end of the week.

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  • by Lee Ann Location: Lynn Haven on Mar 30, 2010 at 12:52 PM
    The fact that the news media is reporting that Gov Crist only received 400 emails in protest of this absurd bill is ABSURD! I sent one myself and I know hundreds of others that have... I even got an email acknowledgment from his office. The facts aren't being reported truthfully. Really sad --- it's our kids that are going to suffer in this state if this bill goes through because we will lose good teachers and then you can throw testing out the window because the kids won't do well if they're not properly prepared. How could the state government possibly think this bill makes any sense. Doesn't take a 'FCAT performer' to figure that one out. Good grief
  • by kay Location: walker on Mar 29, 2010 at 05:33 PM
    If this bill should pass then as teachers we need to demand that magnet schools, dual enrollment, honors classes, gifted classes, and all other classes that are geared toward those students that WANT to succeed be shut down. How is it possible to give all teachers a fair chance to improve scores if these types of classes and/or schools are still operating? What a slap in the face. What about students that are in the exceptional education program? Who is going to want to teach those students knowing that they probably, in all reality, won't make learning gains as asked by this bill? The state should be ashamed of what they have done to teachers
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