AMERICA TIMES

Florida Gov. Scott Signs Senate Bill SB736 which Starts Teachers’ Merit Pay and Ends Tenure

Posted in Florida, People - Rick Scott (FL Gov) by americatimes on March 24, 2011
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed today the Senate Bill 736 (SB 736) titled ‘The Student Success Act’ which implements part of Rick Scott’s 7-7-7 plan.

This bill “will give Florida the best educated workforce to compete in the 21st century economy” by eliminating tenure and instituting merit pay, and will allow Florida to attract and retain the best teachers and “make sure that every classroom in Florida has a highly effective teacher,” Governor Scott said.

Here is the report:

3/24/2011 Jacksonville, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 736, the Student Success Act, into law at the charter school, KIPP Impact Middle School in Jacksonville. The historic bill puts in place part of the Governor’s 7-7-7 Plan by requiring merit pay for Florida’s public educators based on student achievement.

“I am proud that the first bill I sign is this important legislation that will give Florida the best educated workforce to compete in the 21st century economy,” Governor Scott said. “We must recruit and retain the best people to make sure every classroom in Florida has a highly effective teacher.”

Sponsored by Senator Stephen Wise and Representative Erik Fresen, the legislation changes how teacher performance is evaluated, including the following:

• Teachers will be evaluated using a scale of four levels for performance (highly effective, effective, needs improvement and unsatisfactory), instead of being evaluated as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory. In 2009, 99.7 percent of teachers earned a satisfactory evaluation.
• At least half of an educator’s evaluation will be based on student learning gains for classroom teachers, 30 percent for non-classroom personnel and 40 percent for school administrators, instead of 100 percent of the evaluation being based on principal or peer review.
• Teachers in hard-to-staff subject areas, like math and science, will earn more money, instead of paying all teachers – regardless of subject taught – using the same scale.
• After July 1 of this year, new teachers will work on annual contracts, instead of receiving tenure after three years of satisfactory evaluations, which is essentially an employment contract for life.

What People Are Saying About the Student Success Act:

“This landmark bill recognizes that teachers are the most important factor in schools when determining a child’s success,” said StudentsFirst Founder and CEO Michelle Rhee. “We applaud Florida for its adoption of bold and comprehensive education measures that put students first.”

“The action taken today recognizes that quality teachers are the fundamental component of a first-rate education,” said CFO Jeff Atwater. “Exceptional teachers will now be distinguished, celebrated and rewarded for their dedication and skill to impart knowledge that inspires our students.”

“The passage of Senate Bill 736, ‘The Student Success Act,’ would not have been a success without the months of collaborative committee work and public input from teachers, administrators and parents,” Senator Stephen Wise said. “I’m thankful for the cooperation from the many groups and individuals who contributed to the discussion on instructional quality, along with the dedicated committee members. Our teachers are incredibly influential and important to the success of our children and our future as a State. I believe this bill will attract top-quality educators to Florida and foster a student-centered, world-class education system.”

“This is a momentous occasion for our state’s education system,” Representative Erik Fresen said. “Excellent teachers are the driving force behind student success and this bill provides for a system that recognizes those highly effective educators and rewards them appropriately.”

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Student Success Act Factsheet

Ley Éxito Estudiantil

Esta Noticia En Español

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Gov. Rick Scott and New Drug Testing Policy

Posted in Conservatives, Florida, People - Rick Scott (FL Gov) by americatimes on March 22, 2011
Governor Rick Scott Commends Legislative Action on Drug Testing and Announces New Staff Drug Testing Policy
Here is the report:
 
  MARCH 22, 2011; Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott applauded the work of legislative leaders to create mandatory drug testing for adults seeking assistance from Florida’s taxpayers.

“I want to commend Senators Steve Oelrich and Paula Dockery, and Representatives Jimmie Smith and Chris Dorworth, for their hard work on this issue,” Governor Scott stated. “Today’s committee passage by the Senate of Senate Bill 556 has advanced this important policy, and I look forward to the House moving their legislation tomorrow.”

Governor Scott’s support for drug testing those who would seek taxpayer-funded assistance is consistent with promises he made before his election.

In addition, Governor Scott announced Executive Order 11-58. This order will require pre-employment drug testing for all prospective new hires of agencies within the Governor’s purview. It will also require random drug testing of all current employees, from executive leadership to part-time employees.

“Floridians deserve to know that those in public service, whose salaries are paid with taxpayer dollars, are part of a drug-free workplace,” Governor Scott said. “Just as it is appropriate to screen those seeking taxpayer assistance, it is also appropriate to screen government employees.”

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En Español

SB 556: http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2011/556 

Gov. Rick Scott’s New Website To Access Florida’s Public Records

Posted in Florida, People - Rick Scott (FL Gov) by americatimes on March 18, 2011

Accountability

Via Gov. Rick Scott’s website

  Governor Scott Launches Website and Opens State Salary Database to the Public
www.FloridaHasARightToKnow.com

3/17/2011; Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today launched a new website that will serve the public by providing access to frequently requested public records and other information, including a state employee salary database.

The new website is located at http://www.FloridaHasARightToKnow.com and contains the following information (and more):

  • Public access to state employee salary information.
  • Contract records, including approved, denied and “under review” contracts.
  • Information on rulemaking status and procedures.
  • Annualized retirement benefit calculations of $100,000 and more for state and local employees (personal information redacted).
  • Links to other open government resources.

“This useful tool enhances public access to government records so taxpayers can see how their tax dollars are being spent,” said Governor Scott.

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En Español: El Gobernador Scott pone a disposición del público una página Web y la base de datos de los empleados públicos: www.FloridaHasARightToKnow.com