Even in Flagler County, teachers and the school board chairman reacted to Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal with a mixture of skepticism and guarded optimism, as questions about math, political motives and local control abound.
The state’s largest teachers union is pushing for lawmakers and Gov. Rick Scott to delay a new system of teacher evaluations, saying the formula for measuring teachers’ performance is flawed and could wreak havoc on their careers.
Katie Hansen, president of Flagler County’s teachers union, forcefully argues against FCAT’s culture of high-stakes testing and false but pervasive notions that unions protect bad teachers and contribute only to Democrats.
The Occupy Flagler-Awake the State demonstration is taking place today at Belle Terre Parkway and Palm Coast Parkway, on the Kohl’s side of the street, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
The Florida Education Association says tying the state’s merit pay provision to standardized tests is unlawful because it violates collective-bargaining rights embedded in the constitution.
Average teacher pay at the end of last year in Flagler was $48,067. Adjusted for inflation, it represents an 8.5 percent decline compared with pay in 2006. Take-home pay declined further this fall.
Some 150 teachers and other school employees and supporters lined Belle Terre Parkway in Palm Coast, one of dozens such rallies across the state, hours before Gov. Rick Scott rebuffed them by telling lawmakers: “Don’t blink.”
With the class-size amendment — Amendment 8 — approving it would save money and give schools some flexibility, but it would let the Legislature off the hook on its financial commitment to education.