Hurrah for the Education Policy Council of Florida’s House of Representatives for endorsing the bold teacher-reforms of pending bill HB 7189, now headed for the House floor tomorrow or Thursday. This pathbreaking legislation–twinned with an identical measure already approved by the State Senate–has many moving parts but three of its provisions are noteworthy. It would, in effect, abolish tenure in Florida’s public schools. It would base teacher evaluations at least 50 percent on student performance. And it would create a statewide “merit pay” plan for uncommonly effective teachers.
The folly of teacher tenure and the protection it inappropriately affords to classroom failures has become far more widely recognized.
These are precisely the kinds of far-reaching reforms that my colleagues and I called for four years ago when the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, based at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, evaluated Florida’s Jeb Bush-era policy changes. (You can read our entire document here and the teacher-specific chapters by distinguished political scientist Terry Moe and acclaimed economist Eric Hanushek.)