Dear Governor Crist,
Since Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 7189 passed last week, teachers throughout the state have made it clear to you that they do not support these pieces of legislation. But it is students as well that are completely opposed to this legislation because it will destroy the education system within Florida and affect us personally. It is well known that Florida's educational system is far from the best, and we need to take steps to improve education within Florida, but these pieces of legislation do the exact opposite, they take steps in the wrong direction!
Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 7189 put far too much of an emphasis on standardized testing, which by no means can adequately show how effective a teacher is at their job. Performance based pay is used in almost every industry, and can, if applied properly work in determining teacher's salaries. But what we need is to pass significantly more comprehensive legislation, that instead of putting an emphasis on high stakes, standardized testing (which will only lead to more "teaching to the test") measures teachers performance in many different ways. Of course, that is easier said then done, but in the great state of Florida, it can be achieved. Granted we would have to begin adequately funding education, something that has not been done for a number of years now (Florida ranks dead last in per student education spending for all 50 states and D.C.) and something that this legislation would only make worse.
The bottom line is these pieces of legislation would discourage teachers from going above and beyond and getting graduate degrees, and National Board Certification, as well as discourage new teachers from coming to Florida, something that would only further hinder the education system within Florida. So do what is morally right, and veto SB6 and HB7189, and help ensure a brighter future for all students within Florida.
Students for a Better Florida
Greg Bernstein and Students for a Better Florida
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