The Florida Association of School Boards plans to ask the Legislature to delay the implementation of merit pay for at least two years. They want the state to first figure out exactly what kind of test should be used in the future for school assessment before they have to grade teachers the same way.
There is a huge debate in the state of Florida right now over Common Core standards. Seminole County School Board Member Amy Lockhart explains that it is coming, but the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test associated with Common Core has been shot down by Governor Rick Scott.
"Common Core is a set of standards. It's not an actual assessment. It's not a test. So what we are looking at now, what we are waiting for from our Board of Education is what assessment will be used?"
Simply put, without a test in place, Volusia School Board Chairman Diane Smith wonders how they can put a merit pay system in place?
"It's extremely difficult, because we absolutely don't know what's going to go on in our state right now."
We posed a similar question to Amy Lockhart, asking how one measures a teacher's effectiveness when it is still unclear which testing method will be used.
"You can't. You can't," she said.
Lockhart says merit pay is the right way to go for students, parents and teachers.
"Our students, our parents deserve to have teachers held accountable for the job that they do."
Diane Smith agrees, but she says that should be down the road.
"What we are also asking for is a 2 year delay. After we decide and accept an assessment tool, give us time to implement that tool properly and let us not hold our teachers accountable to something we have no idea, we haven't even tested it yet."
The Legislature would have to decide on a merit pay delay when they meet in March.