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A reader posted these comments in response to Florida legislature’s passage of a law to offer a $10,000 bonus to new teachers with high SAT/ACT scores. The bonus is supposed to attract “the best and the brightest.”
“Yes, districts will be able to lure in new teachers with higher SAT scores with $10,000 signing bonuses, but when the rigors of teaching every day sets in, Florida will see its $44 million walk right out the door. The biggest cliché at the moment is that one of the purposes of education is to create the lifelong learner, but why should students strive for higher education when their own teachers are not valued for achieving years of expertise, higher degrees, and national board certifications? What value is there to becoming educated and entering the teaching field when all you have to do is sit through a series of training sessions with Teach for America in order to teach the neediest and most demanding students who deserve the most attention? Once again, politics and government are wasting tax payer’s dollars.
“According to Education Week’s facts on Florida http://www.edweek.org/topics/states/florida/ there are 175,609 teachers in the state. The cap on this $10,000 bonus is 4,400 teachers in total which represents only 2% of Florida’s teaching population. If the program, goes over the 4,400, then each teacher will get less. The patient (public schools) is bleeding to death but don’t stop the bleeding – put a piece of toilet paper on a cut in the hope that this 2% will raise Florida test scores and graduation rates to new levels of achievement.
“I am in the process of getting my masters so that I can be even more effective as an ESL teacher despite the “stats” that the level of my education has no effect whatsoever on my students’ test scores. If that is true, why is Florida paying bonuses to draw in “smarter” people into the classroom with or without degrees? Why worry about smarts? If that’s the case, let’s just have any Joe Schmoe off the street teach our students. Maybe he will do a better job and not ask to be paid for his work and tax payers can keep their money!”