Teachers Respond to SB 736

From one line comments to long prose and poetry, the reaction to the passage of SB 736 and signing by Governor Scott has generated a wide spectrum of comments and concerns from members and non-members.

Here are a few comments sent to the legislature.

"As a teacher who retired 2 years ago I would find it very difficult to encourage anyone to enter the profession now. It's fairly obvious the contempt that these politicians hold for the entire profession. The shame in all of this is that the children will pay the greatest price. The better teachers will find a better and easier way to make a living, and young people in high school and beginning college will find another profession to go into. It is ironic that the insane and the crazies have now taken control of the asylum."

"I am disgusted that this bill has been passed into law. Obvioulsy our elected officials have no respect for teachers. May I suggest that on a specific date ALL teachers in FL call in sick. I am a substitute teacher in Pinellas." 

"People are afraid for their jobs and believe they have no voice. You must be our voice. Stop teacher abuse!"

"I am a teacher working at a charter school, and I just read part of the 736 bill. I consider that this is an insult to teachers, regulated and created by people  who never have put their feet inside a classroom.

 We need to put governor Scott in a compromise to do not sign any bill until this is bill is discussed by the real teachers who are inside the classroom. I consider approving this bill in the spring break is like stabbing teachers in the back."

"After FCAT testing has been completed and the leg. is still in session, we need to begin working to the contract.  No extra time before or after school until they recognize we are not going to take it any more!  They need to fund education."

"I am a Biology teacher....and I am writing this letter from the bottom of my heart. This is about something that I experienced recently in my environmental science class, my 11th grade class, when I was preparing the students for the FCAT science exam.....A student who I had sitting in the front of the classroom, next to my desk, because of his behavior and severe class disruption, was pretending to pick up some of his papers that fell on the floor, ....but HE WAS DIGGING IN MY WALLET THAT TOOK OUT OF MY PURSE INSTEAD OF PAYING ATTENTION to the FCAT material I was trying to teach. Because of this incident, I had to stop teaching,.....it affected the learning environment in my class. I am heartbroken; we teachers love our students as if they were our own children...“What formula are you all going to use to evaluate teachers based on the results of those students whose problems and concerns are much bigger than their education?" How can you evaluate a doctor if the patient died because it had cancer? I do hope every single one of you read my letter, and analyze some of the few incidents that we teachers go through in the classrooms on a daily basis..."

"I teach at a Special Ed. school in Orlando for students with severe behavior disorders. …I have a masters degree in Special ed. I am a highly qualified teacher. I have jumped through every hoop necessary to be a valued teacher in an area where most teachers won't even consider because of the stress. How dare you think you can cheat me any more than you already have with respect to income…. If this passes you are going to loose the best teachers you have, but, I don't think you care. It is obvious Rick Scott's agenda is to use his crooked business skills at the expense of his most honest, hard working citizens."

"Dear Governor Scott,

Teacher pay for performance is fair only if the following occurs:

1. Teachers should be allowed to teach in the manner they think is most correct for their students. Oftentimes they are forced to execute orders from top administrators and the district. It seems that many good teachers can’t teach in a way that would improve student performance because they are constrained by those outside the classroom, who haven’t taught in the classroom in years. Without control of their own teaching process, teachers would potentially be paid (or not) based on someone else's judgment about what works in the modern classroom.

2. All supervisory/admin personnel should return to the classroom every five years for an in-class placement. They need to return to teaching once in a while. This ensures that they understand the current needs of students and teachers. Too often there is a disconnect that comes from being out of the trenches.

3. Students should not be able to re-take a class for free if they fail. Students often don't put in the time or effort to study because they know they can always "re-take" a class. The first class should be free- the second time, it should not be free. This would not only increase student accountability it would also save taxpayers money.

4. Parents who don't enforce school attendance of their children should be held accountable. This might mean that they are charged with, “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” if the student has excessive absences.  Parents should also pay for time and energy wasted by teachers if their children fail due to poor attendance. Parents need to sign a contract where they agree to help, not hinder, the job of the teacher.

5. Create incentives to keep good teachers at low performing schools instead of driving them away from the schools that need the most help. "

"I am very disappointed with the state’s decision as to an MBA not being considered in my certification area.  Regularly students’ text book examples and application problems involve finance, financial literacy (as promoted by STEM initiatives), manufacturing, marketing and statistical analysis and many other consumer applications.  My MBA strongly supports the implementation of my Bs. Ed. and I firmly contend that I am a much better mathematics teacher because of it."

"I am disappointed in you, because you think the teachers of Florida are not good at their job. 


I am disappointed in you, because you think that teachers have tenure. 


I am disappointed in you, because you think that Florida Boards of Education have enough money to spend on the unfunded mandate that you just voted for, SB736. 


I am disappointed in you, because you think Florida teachers should be punished for doing better than ever -- ranking 5th in the nation according to the Education Week annual Quality Counts report. 


I am most disappointed in you, because you followed the party line and showed everyone that you cannot think for yourself.
     When I was teaching, no matter whether I was on Continuing Contract or not, I was evaluated every year -- two years on the short evaluation form, but every 3rd year on a long evaluation form that took an administrator a lot of time and effort to fill out.  He/she had to visit my classroom many times each year to evaluate me.  I did not have "tenure" where my job was safe.  If a teacher does anything wrong, he/she can be fired with due process.  Not one teacher is "safe." 
     You certainly did not take the time to make contact with your constituents in Florida about this matter.  But I am not disappointed in myself, because I did  take the time before the vote to make my opinion known to you.  I am sorry  that you do not value my opinion."

"Wow, that is really scarey...  I am a school social worker in Broward County and no where in this are social workers mentioned.  I guess I have to assume that we will be rated however psychologists and guidance counselors are rated as we have no classroom and no set of students that we work with.  I wrote many letters to congress people regarding this and it is just amazing that they just ignore what people say and move along not knowing anything about what they are proposing.  We have not gotton a raise in three years and I am not anticipating one in the next few so I guess it doesn't matter."

"Thank you for continuing to point out the unworkable aspects of this bill. A fair way of evaluating teachers based on student testing will never be found or agreed on. In an excellent teacher's classroom, the most meaningful experiences will not be reflected on a standardized test. This bill is punitive in nature and detrimental to our profession."

"I just wanted to say that merit pay will be fair to teachers only when ALL teachers start the school year with ALL students who are totally equal in intelligence, emotional stability, motivation, and behavior.  Until then, as long as students are grouped, some teachers will have better students than others which makes any kind of reward based primarily on student performance on one test totally unfair.  In a horse race a thoroughbred will beat a plow horse every time.  As a result, the more talented and experienced teachers will not be teaching the student who need it the most (less money there) which means those less able students will be taught by new or less skillful teachers.  Thank you to the legislature."

"In my opinion, without a professional teaching contract or tenure "academic freedom" is gone. It is the PSC that gives us the flexibility to teach and prompt, and not be forced into a cookie cutter approach to teaching. If we're treated as labor, then give us overtime pay!"

"Since the legislature has passed SB 736/HB 7019, I would like to see each of our Legislator spend at least 2 weeks as a substitute teacher in our schools."

"These measures will insure that all public schools become Juvenile centers. Allow the teacher to teach, not test or teach to the test. They are not real standards..."

"I am very upset with what is going on in tallahassee.  I do agree that there are teachers that should go, but with this bill the impact on the good teachers will also be affected.  I have email Don Gatez and i know in my heart it will do no good.  They dont listen to us. They just pass what ever they want to pass regardless of the impact to the people of florida.  I am so up with the people in tallahassee i dont know what to do.  What can i do to get my voice heard?  I am a conserative.  I dont even consider my self a republican anymore just a Reagon conserative. "

"So ridiculous. They need to go sit in a classrooms for a while. My raise was 33 cents , what an insult. We got better raises at McDonalds back when I was in college. "

"If they want to have teachers salaries based on the children's scores then the governor should also hold parents responsible.  Teachers can not be held responsible with no help from parents.  They should be taxed higher if they don't do their job also!"

























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