The governor and education commissioner certainly got headlines when they announced a starting teacher salary increase, but then they got questions and ridicule as well.
How they think a pay increase that does nothing for 76 thousand veteran teachers and makes the pay of first year teachers the same as 16th, 17th year teachers, would be acceptable is beyond me, but the thing is I am not their audience, people who don’t pay attention are.
For those that aren’t pay attention Florida and the nation are undergoing both a teacher shortage, fewer people are going into the profession and a teacher exodus, veterans are leaving and without a doubt the pay is a big problem but it’s just one of many big problems if you get what I mean.
Other problems are creativity and autonomy, why many people go into teaching has been stripped away. More and more teachers are told, what, when and how to teach, their experience and professional judgement are discounted and ignored.
Discipline is a problem too as more and more schools both cook the books to make their numbers look good and don’t support teachers with problem children.
The test, having a high stakes test that determines pay and employment for teachers and advancement is not what education is supposed to be about but its become all education is about. Tests are supposed to measure instruction not drive it, and what we have has become the end all be all of education. I mean for public schools anyways. Voucher schools that are also funded with public money don’t have to worry about tests at all, but I guess that is another post.
A lack of job security. Any teacher hired after 2010 can be let go at the end of a year for any or no reason and teachers with proven track records might think they are safe but they aren’t. How are people supposed to go through life and make life decisions knowing they can just be fired.
Then their is the lack of respect. The governors proposal was disrespectful, not treating teachers like professionals is disrespectful, overloading them with accountability on steroids something again voucher school teachers don’t have to endure, is disrespectful.
Teachers have all the responsibility and none of the authority and often just a smidgen of the resources and support they need to be successful and that’s disrespectful too.
I could go on but yeah, the governor and commissioner are fooling themselves if they think just raising starting salaries is going to make a difference, that or they are trying to fool us.