SENATE BILL 6
Those that were against the bill wondered why anyone would think it should pass. After an economic downfall, the government is looking for ways to regain money lost during the recession. By awarding teachers raises in accordance to their students’ performances, pay upgrades would no longer be awarded by seniority, which is a dependent variable. This cost-cutting initiative was ineffective for a number of reasons, one of which was that the teacher’s performance would be based entirely on one end-of-year exam, regardless of the subject. It seems beyond unfair to penalize a teacher for a single test, and leave every other test, homework assignment and piece of classwork meaningless. Florida would also have to produce all new tests for every grade level – the cost of this would be huge and was utterly ridiculous considering the fact that the whole point of this IS TO CUT COSTS.
This bill could’ve potentially raised students’ performance in school. However, students’ performances depend on their teachers, and the bill may have affected teachers’ performances and would have to not only teach but to become a teacher in the first place. The end-of-year exam would be the sole element deciding how much money the teachers would make for the year, and students’ learning ability would not be improved the slightest because teachers would spend the year teaching students for the test, and not on the whole subject. There is more to education than learning towards a standardized test. For example, English classes cover poetry, novels, short stories, closed texts and a little bit of history. If Senate Bill 6 passed, students would no longer study the English language on a broader scale, and instead would focus on reading and writing in the simplest way.
Teachers would be under enormous pressure should this bill have passed. Under this bill, a teacher would be fired should he or she to have an overall failing score throughout more than five years. It’s hardly imaginable being a teacher under these circumstances. Several teachers at Miami Beach Senior High responded to this alarming fact, including Mr. Robert Ellis, who stated that there would be “temptation” to offer students answers to these tests as a result of getting a raise. He recognized the immorality of this deed, but teachers aren’t the highest paid people in the world as it is, and they have to support their families.
Before they can protest, protesters need to know what exactly they are protesting. Clearly, there was something to be protested, and clearly, it needed to be stopped. Thankfully, Governer Crist heard our pleas.