Teachers Rally Against Senate Bill 6

By: Vanessa Nguyen Email
By: Vanessa Nguyen Email

Senate Bill 6, which would strip all Florida teachers of tenure and pay them based on their students' performance, could be the most contentious piece of legislation to come out of this session.
A large number of local teachers were out at the busiest intersection in town this afternoon, letting people know they're not happy about the bill.

NewsChannel 7's Vanessa Nguyen joins us live for the corner of 77 and 23rd where this afternoon's protest just wrapped-up.

The rally is finishing up now but as you can see behind me, there are still some people here.
Most of them wore red shirts to symbolize how they are "seeing red" with Senate Bill 6.

The teachers were here to remind everyone how they have worked hard to make Bay County an 'A' district school system.
But their efforts may mean very little with the way Senate Bill 6 is written.
The controversial bill would eliminate tenure by strictly basing merit pay on student performance.
Right now teachers' salaries are based on factors like their college degrees and years of experience.
Senate Bill 6 could cause some teachers to lose their certification and jobs and if they don't receive good performance evaluations.
We talked to a few teachers who were strongly opposed to it.

Arnold High School teacher Alexis Underwood says, "I worry that it sets an unreasonable standard that teacher need to measure up to. I worry that it puts a responsibility for my job performance on the shoulders of my students. My job responsibility is my responsibility, it shouldn't be the weight on the Freshmen and Sophomores in my room that are trying to pass a reading test."

Rosenwald teacher Michael Petty says, "One of the biggest reasons I've had gains in my classroom is because I know my students. I had some of them last year or I knew them on campus years before and without continuity from one year to the next you don't have the benefit of those relationships with the students. Getting to know the parents, getting to know other teachers you work with. Without those relationships students performance will go down. It's guaranteed it will go down."

Supporters of Senate Bill 6 say it would actually motivate teachers more to help their students succeed in the classroom.

The Senate passed this bill on Wednesday morning but legislators say they plan to make changes to it.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Joshua Location: PC on Apr 7, 2010 at 05:49 AM
    Sure do Brian, but he made a difference, in spite of the bureaucrats and unions...
  • by Brian Location: Panama City on Apr 7, 2010 at 04:11 AM
    You DO realize how the great teacher Jaime Escalante was treated by school bureaucrats, teacher's unions, and some parents, yes? And to Gopher, the supposed teacher of 35 years, all you have to do is open your eyes. Lazy teachers can be found quite easily. Are you a shill for the teacher's union?
  • by Joshua Location: PC on Apr 5, 2010 at 05:24 PM
    I would strongly suggest that all of you who wonder, whine, and complain about "What do we do with a bunch of unmotivated, lazy kids", go to Wikipedia.org and do a search for Jaime Escalante. (BE sure to spell it correctly.) Read about him and you will have your answer...
  • by debbyarr Location: Panama City on Apr 5, 2010 at 01:31 PM
    Pay for performance sounds stupid to me. What do the teachers do if they just have a bunch of unmotivated or lazy (because of lack of parent involvement), or learning deficit kids? Who's going to judge the "performance" of the students? 1)A once-a-year FCAT test that doesn't accurately measure the students knowledge? Teachers already need to stop teaching The Test and ignoring other curriculum. 2)The students grades? Teachers will be passing students who should fail so that they can get better pay or raises. I do agree with getting rid of tenure because the school district shouldn't have to keep poor teachers just because they've been teaching a long time. The principal and the other teachers know who the poor teachers are and even poor teachers can have a group of exceptional students come through their class every so often.
  • by Darren Location: Springfield on Apr 5, 2010 at 12:35 PM
    We had a teacher at Everitt Jr High who sent a note home with the students. I was full of misspellings and grammar mistakes. What a stink that caused. She was banned from sending home anything after that until it was submitted through the English department for correction.
  • by Gopher Location: Panama City on Apr 5, 2010 at 11:29 AM
    I am tired of the uninformed rhetoric about lazy teachers. I taught 35 years in Bay County in several schools and saw no evidence of this myth, I saw people working hard. There were, of course, variations in quality among teachers (employees), but that is true of any business. I think a lot of the the "lazy" teacher talk goes back to a basic truth about teachers and the public. Based on their pay, in view of their often perceived unimportance to society, when compared to their real value to society, one would have to conclude there is a general disrespect of what teachers do and how much they are paid. We have not outgrown the "school marm" syndrome from the 19th century. Our view of education is juvenile when compared to many countries in the world. It's an embarassment, and until we start thinking more about kids and less about pandering to political loudmouths, will always get what we deserve. This latest legislative insult plays the lazy teacher myth on an frustrated public
  • by Andrew Location: PCB on Apr 4, 2010 at 08:50 PM
    I have to agree with Brian and John. I have seen so many lazy teachers say they are teaching and they are not, especially in the ese classes. As if really who would know right? My daughter has struggled in ese..I just thought she was lazy and didn't want to learn according to what one teacher told me. Funny how I started her on online classes because I felt that it was becoming more of a bother in the class to teach her and felt it my duty to try at home. Well long and behold, I have a an advanced student! Now tell me how did this happen. I do not even have a teaching degree. She is not only advanced online but she is completely out of ese and pulling B's in her regular classes? Her ESE teacher of three years told me she could not learn! So yeah..I believe everyone should be held accountable, but I truly believe something must be done to monitor those teachers who are NOT doing their jobs.
  • by Brian Location: Panama City on Apr 4, 2010 at 07:25 PM
    If you do NOT want teacher's pay and employment to be tied to students' performance, then allow the principal of the school to hire and fire people as he/she sees fit. This tenure thing has got to go regardless. You and I both know that there are tons of inefficient, lazy, bums masquerading as teachers. Fire them and then we'll talk about classroom performance. But, the teachers union doesn't like that because it would mean LESS revenue every month for the union...and that is paramount for them.
  • by Tokyo Joe Location: Tokyo on Apr 4, 2010 at 06:02 PM
    What about art and music teachers? How will they be rated? Suzy is tone deaf, and Johnny is color blind. Teachers will fail these students and teacher gets fired for their bad performance. 6 is a total fail
  • by Ireadnews Location: panama city on Apr 4, 2010 at 04:06 PM
    elainmir said, for people who do NOT work in schools... well I did. The school I worked in gave annual increases to everyone. Those of us who did well and our students progressed beyond others, were paid respectively. Most of our students were low income, many did not live with their birth parents. We all left the blame at the front door. We worked with our young people (students). We did not have a union meet with us on campus to say "They are going to hold your pay". When questioned then say "We heard they will hold your pay". The truth is "NO They will not". The truth is all teachers will be paid. "Teachers" will have and keep jobs. "Great Teachers" will be paid for "Great Jobs done". If you can test a student on your classroom assingments and pass or fail them...Don't let others who are mostly looking out for their stipend "union pay" scare you from doing your best and getting paid for it. We do have "GREAT TEACHERS" in Bay County. Stand up and be counted in REAL terms "PAY"
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