DeSantis teacher pay idea should be sent back to the drawing board, people stop thanking him for nothing

DeSantis once again made a big splash in the education world, and for those counting at home this was the third one. After the expansion of vouchers (a terrible idea) and the end of Common Core (not a practical one) he meandered his way to teacher pay where he proposed 422 million dollars in a gimmick filled proposal that falls apart after five minutes of critical thinking.

Now DeSantis is correct in his overarching idea that teachers need to be paid more, after all even this late into the game we still have thousands of openings statewide and the problem is only going to get worse, it’s just his idea to fix the problem is terrible.

First he is proposing a bonus when teachers really need a raise. Florida is one of the worst in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries and its teachers have been loosing ground for over a decade especially its veteran teachers.

Then it’s just a bonus for 45k teachers (maybe, more on that in a minute), leaving the vast majority of teachers out in the cold. There are a little more than 180,000 public school teachers which means only about a quarter would be eligible for his bonus.

Then the teachers that are highly effective also have to be in a school that experiences one percent growth and I get it, to the uniformed that may seem very doable. Here is thing, what if you are at an academic magnet school that has a majority of high achievers, where growth because of where they start at is little. How about if you work at a center school for disabled children that doesn’t participate in the letter grade system, or maybe you are in one of those schools that goes backwards or stays the same, it wouldn’t matter if you were high performing or not, like so many others they would be frozen out of the bonus.

Okay lets keep going.

There are 67 counties with 67 different evaluation processes and whats H.E. here may not be H.E. there.  Some districts had 95 percent of their teachers rated as highly effective (Clay) while other districts had a considerably different percentage.

Also do you know what the difference between effective and highly effective is? Sometimes its a fair amount of hard work, but then other times it is if your principal likes you or not, or if your principal is having a good day or not, or if little Johnny is in a good mood or not. Evaluations are highly subjective no matter what way you cut it. And subjective number one is if your principal likes you or not.

Then won’t this exacerbate teaching to the test? 9 grand is not chump change and we already teach to the test without it. This would put it on steroids.

I am now five minutes in to my analysis which is probably 5 minutes more than DeSantis and his team did which makes me think he isn’t really serious at all.

A Facebook friend explained what DeSantis is doing like this. He can propose all he wants, but it’s up to the state legislature if it gets passed. He has not — as far as I can tell — proposed for a way to pay for it. Sales tax increase? Corporate income tax? So… he gets positive headlines for a few weeks. Teachers feel good for a minute or two and then… it gets quickly forgotten when it doesn’t pass the legislature. In 2022 he gets to cut an ad that he fights for teachers. Without having to make any actual hard decisions. At least when Gillum ran he proposed a way to pay for teacher raises. The success of the modern Republican Party is about the art of doing nothing while appearing to do something. It’s the Matrix of public policy.

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