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Crist expects to use full week to decide on SB 6

Gov. Charlie Crist said Friday afternoon that he has been getting "a ton" of pressure and interest over the teacher tenure bill, a level of concern unlike any other piece of legislation since he became governor.

Crist, who received the bill and must act on it within seven days, would not say whether he is leaning toward signing or vetoing it.

"I probably would take the full week. I think it's too important to do anything hasty. So I want to take as much input as I can and review it, get fully briefed on it again."

Crist's father is former chairman of the Pinellas School Board and two of his three sisters have been schoolteachers. He acknowledged getting lobbied within his own family.

"They're making very good suggestions from the heart," he said, without revealing what decision they would like him to make.

Crist denied being worried about the political consequences of his decision, as he continues to wage a tough battle for a U.S. Senate seat.

Crist was in St. Petersburg, his hometown, to speak to the group Leadership Pinellas.

   -- Curtis Krueger, St. Petersburg Times


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sign the bill it only makes sense


Crist is merely "playing politics" to wee which way the wind will blow ... his cocnern is the imapct that it might have on his campaign to be elected to Cngress. If he vetos the bill, I will definitely vote against him in the election.


He needs a week to see how he is polling with Moderates left in his party and Dixiecrats in Florida !!! the Dems that wont vote for Meeks because he is Black , and yes there are alot in Florida !


veto the bill. It doesn't make sense:
- it's an unfunded mandate
- it will take more time and money away from teaching and put it into standardized tests
- it will move education from critical thinking, learning and understanding into test taking short cuts, strategies and short-term memorization
- it will increase inequalities by having the best teachers go for schools with more money, support and parental involvement
- it will penalize teachers for things beyond their control
- it will be a Tallahasee take over of education instead of more local control
- it will turn the best and brightest teachers away from education
... horrible, horrible bill!


Just sign the bill, Charlie. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out this morning in an editorial on this specific Florida education legislation it is the right thing to do for Florida's school children.

If you fail to sign it then we all know it was because you are unserious in being a fiscal conservative and cleaning up the state's schools and need the teacher's union funding for your run as an independent.

Shame on you, Charlie, that you are behaving as such an unprincipled weasel.

Debbie Theaman

Governor Crist,
Please veto the bill and consider that teachers are public servants. We are committed to our jobs and need job security. Students are more than test scores!!!!!! It is an unfair attack on teachers to determine pay based on test scores.


i think this is ridiculous
the fcat is a STANDARIZED test
we are all humans but different
a test can not determine anything
so a teacher should not be expected
everything is fcat fcat teachers are just preparing for the fcat and not our educating this is a bunch of nonsense;
education is everything we have
and teachers should be valued !

Steven M. Urdegar

I hate to burst your bubble, but these tests do not exist and districts shouldn't have to pay for them. Simple ones are unreliable and good ones very expensive. You wouldn't want your salary pegged to a checklist, would you? Principals already have the authority to get rid of bad teachers. They should use it.

Sharon Merchant

Sharon Merchant says veto teacher bill

Gov. Charlie Crist should veto SB-6, the teacher tenure bill. It is bad for teachers, bad for education and bad for students.

It does exactly what we Republicans repeatedly say we are against – it creates a bureaucratic Tallahassee overlord to dictate who should teach, how teachers should be paid and what happens in the classroom.

As Republicans we believe in less government not more. We believe that local government – including Florida’s 67 school boards - best serve the needs of local communities. We certainly do not believe that the bureaucracy in Tallahassee should control what goes on in the classroom. We believe in personal responsibility for parents and students.

Equally disturbing is the fact that there is no serious plan for how to pay for the proposed changes. This legislation relies on temporary federal stimulus dollars which we are far from certain to get. And what will replace those federal dollars – up to $900 million – when it is gone?

In addition, this legislation forces local school boards to earmark 5-percent of a district’s funding to pay for Tallahassee’s ideas. It is a cynical way of forcing local school boards to raise property taxes so leaders in Tallahassee can pretend they did not raise taxes.

Do our schools have problems? Yes.

Is it too difficult to remove bad teachers? Yes.

Do good teachers deserve better pay? Yes.

Does testing of students need to be improved? Yes.

But to improve our schools we need involvement from parents, teachers, principals and local school boards. The crafting of this legislation involved none of those groups. Instead, a handful of political leaders are demanding that this legislation be accepted without question.

As a conservative, I find it troubling that our party would lock out of the debate those most affected by this legislation. As a conservative, I am troubled by the fiscal irresponsibility of this legislation. As a conservative, I am troubled by the fundamental unfairness of this legislation.

Veto SB-6. Then, let’s work out a solution with everyone invited to provide ideas.

Sharon Merchant was a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives, 1992-2000. She is a candidate for the state Senate, district 27. The district includes parts of five counties - Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, Glades and Palm Beach.


Would you want this job?

Welcome to the ‘DOE’ Company (a fictitious name). You will enjoy your position as a manager. Let’s talk about your responsibilities:

*You will manage a small group of about 20 individuals. Some of them will have 5 or 6 years of the proper training needed to perform their jobs. The rest will have received little or none of the prerequisite training. You must show the latter group ‘the ropes’: you will have to instruct them in every aspect of the job. You cannot designate others to do it. You have to perform their training yourself. You must bring them up to the level of the other employees who have had the many years of experience, and you must achieve this within a few months.

*You will be required to create and implement detailed plans (submitted on a weekly basis), documenting your methods of training, as well as performing weekly assessments showing employee progress. If any employee does not make adequate progress, despite your attempts, you CANNOT terminate their employment. An employee’s refusal to perform the work is not grounds for termination, either.

*If an employee is frequently late, or takes days off due to illness, you are required to reschedule their training, without assigning overtime, while ensuring they stay apace with current training.

*Many of the employees will not have the proper tools to perform their expected jobs. They may not use the tools of the employees who came with their own set of implements. You must use your own resources to provide these tools. *Warning* Some employees will not perform their jobs even with the proper tools. You CANNOT terminate their employment in this situation.

*During the next year, all your employees will be monitored and tested for progress in their expected abilities. In less than a year’s time (sometimes within six months) all the employees will be tested on the skills they’ve gained during the year. Your salary, as manager, will be based on how they perform. It doesn’t matter if the employees have never done this work before. The ones without experience will be required to perform as equally well as the ones who had several years of training and experience.

*You will also be evaluated each year. The performance assessment tool will be created by a board which may or may not have any direct experience with your field of work. This board will determine your salary based on your employees’ performance. Despite any documentation you have of your efforts (and that documentation will be voluminous), all the employees must meet the board’s requirements, regardless of their previous experience.

*You will also be required to attend workshops and educational venues to maintain your position (these will often be done on your own time, outside of standard work hours). Additionally, you will be required to maintain a license that requires a fee (paid out of your own pocket). This license will need to be renewed every few years, submitted with proof of the previously mentioned in-services, and also proof of the employees’ adequate performance results.

***********************************************So, would you like to work for this company? I already do. The DOE Company is the ‘Department of Education’. Switch ’student’ for the word ‘employee’, and that is my job.

I have willingly volunteered to have students with ’special needs’ (those needs address such areas as a learning disability or emotionally handicapped) in my classroom. I enjoy the challenge, and I love working with these students. But these students CAN NOT perform as well as a ‘regular’ student in all areas. I will help them make progress. They will gain skills, and leave my classroom with growth in many areas. But they will not make the progress that other ‘regular’ students can. Yet my salary is about to be determined by the students’ scores. I don’t mind some sort of system to make sure I’m doing my job. My students SHOULD have growth. But kids don’t progress at a constant rate. Just like physical growth, there are spurts and plateaus. But even after those allowances, the system needs to realize that I can’t add IQ points to a child. I can’t help a child gain all the simple skills a parent wouldn’t or couldn’t teach him in his first five years of life. (Such things as manners, self-discipline, simple color and letter and number recognition, being read to, washing hands after you go to the bathroom, eating at a table, etc.) I can’t ‘fix’ a kid who has been horribly abused, or is a fetal alcohol syndrome child. Yet I have to ‘make’ these kids perform at the same level as everyone else, or I am a horrible teacher. How can a fifth grade child who is developmentally delayed and reading on a first-grade level take the fifth-grade standardized test? Oh, he can take it (which they are required to do), and he is expected to perform as well as all the other fifth-graders.

Yes, there are lousy teachers out there. There are lousy people in ALL fields of work. The majority of teachers love their jobs, love their students, and work their butts off…most work more than 40 hours a week, staying late at school, taking work home. They work countless hours outside of the classroom because they care. They spend a lot of money on extra materials and supplies to help enrich their students’ educational experience. Their summers are frequently filled with workshops and college courses.

We are here for the students. What chance does a child have for success if he is expected to do something he isn’t capable of yet? With the way this system is set up, does it really make it better for the students? But it’s the teacher’s fault, isn’t it? If he/she just worked a little harder, and did this new program or implemented that new research, all the little children would learn and learn and learn. Test scores would go through the roof because teachers would know that their pay depends on those scores, right?

So I ask you again…would YOU want this job?

veto sb6

Veto Charlie for our children!


For those of you who are saying just sign the bill, I dare you to be in a class just one day...you have no idea what a teacher goes through!!! how would you like to be judged on the performance of others? should lawyers only get paid for the cases the win? should doctors only get paid for the lives they save? In this case, then every profession should be based like this!!!! As it is, we get paid peanuts compared to other professions. How is it possible for atheltes, who do absolutely nothing to make this world better, be paid MILLIONS!!! And teachers who make the difference, get paid CRAP!!!!!!


VETO THE BILL. You need the people's votes not the rebulicans that voted for the bill. If it's true that Rubio is for the bill he will not get my vote. I will influence my whole family with the education issue and they will vote the way I suggest. I am so sick of all you arrogant people comparing teachers to salespeople. What the heck do any of you know what goes on in the classrooms of Florida schools. We don't work on commission because we are educating not selling a product. Unless you are a teacher you should keep your opinions to yourselves because you sound ignorant. Just because a friend of a friend is a teacher does not make you an expert on education matters.


Penny my dear why do you think that whoever wrote the editorial in the Wall Street Journal knows what is good for Florida. Oh I suppose that there are no "bad" teachers, no failing students, no "bad" schools in New York right...Since they know what's good for Florida school children I imagine they've solved all the problems in their schools. Maybe the solution would be for all of our students to just move to New York. OMG

C Bacon

I am sick of this bill. So sick that I will, like many other teachers in Miami be unable to go into work on Monday. My son is sick,too. What will we do? I don't think it will matter since with this bad economy and the easy job that I do there will be many people that could fill in for me.

Douglas S

Is exactly the same thing that President Obama proposed. So let me get this straight, teachers are for Obama but not this bill? Obama is great, unless he doesn't affect me??? These teachers are influenced by their unions and not reading the complete bill for themselves. Charlie, just sign SB6 and do it for our children and grandchildren!


How can so much ride on a test? Where did this bill suddenly come from? If they want better teachers/teaching then encourage people by paying more, by holding the parents more accountable for things like attendence, a good nights sleep, or just proper care of their child. I love teaching, I love my students as if they were my own. This bill saddens me. No one really knows the life of todays children- and basing so much on a single test is OUTRAGEOUS.

Those of you that want it to pass please answer why?


A professional, quality educator would be concerned about their students and what is best for them. A quality educator would not feel sick on Monday and penailize their students because they don't like the efforts of florida to improve education. that is the attitued that caused Florida to lose the federal grant. Pass the bill and improve the education of our children!


Here is a letter I sent to Charlie Crist:

I have been closely following this new education reform bill. As a parent of a 5th grader, a 3rd grader and a VPK child, I urge you to PLEASE APPROVE THIS REFORM BILL. During the past 6 years of my children attending elementary school, I have seen too many "paycheck player" teachers and faculty. I have been appalled at this and think our current systems needs a revision. I often get the feeling that some teachers are simply "watching the clock" and waiting for the day to end so they can get on with their personal lives. Well this is their life. I feel a good quality teacher can teach ANYONE. While there have been some good quality teachers in my children's lives I would leave the percentage at about 50% of them really cared about the children's education. Many parents in my area we upset at the current Brevard county rezoning that went on, while I was VERY happy that my children would be changing schools and get a new atmosphere. The good teachers will have NOTHING to worry about should this new bill be passed, the only ones complaining are the probably the ones that are in fear and those that have chosen camaraderie over education and their career.


Thank you and a trust you will make the best decision for our children.


When I have a open house and 8 parents show up out of 900. What can i do as a teacher if the parents dont care. I wll take responsibility for your kids education you take responsibility for having them. And not just send them to school so they can have a free lunch. Try teching a child that sleeps in your class every day and refused to work.

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