March 23, 2010

The sugar-daddy amendment to SB 6

Note (March 25, 2010): This entry was written on March 23, before the Senate adopted the Thrasher/Crist amendment. For my thoughts about the version that passed the senate on March 24, see my entry describing it as overreaching

.Among the amendments to Florida Senate Bill 6 filed today is a short amendment sponsored by John Thrasher (Jacksonville) and Victor Crist (Tampa) to address a concern I raised Saturday (and I assume others have also raised): As originally filed and then approved by state senate committees, Senate Bill 6 would essentially punish the Hillsborough (Tampa) school system for having won a Gates Foundation grant because the carving out a portion of teacher evaluation for trained observers would reduce the amount accounted for by student outcomes below the statutory minimum in the bill.

So along comes the bill with a possible solution to this individual problem: a school district can apply to the State Board of Education for an exemption if it's constructed in various ways that match Hillsborough's situation... including the first requirement: "Any school district that received a grant of at least $75 million from a private foundation for the purpose of improving the effectiveness of teachers within the school district may seek an annual exemption..."

In other words, only Hillsborough need apply. If you've got a sugar daddy, you're eligible for the exemption. If you don't, even if you're a school system willing to invest your own money in a similar system meeting all the other requirements, you can kiss any exemption goodbye.

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on March 23, 2010 12:00 AM |