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Miami-Dade becomes first school district to enact merit pay

In Gov. Rick Scott's draft legislative agenda, he includes an item that suggested he would support funding the merit pay plan for teachers. The governor's agenda is expected to get significantly whittled down, we hear, but will merit pay remain? Miami-Dade County is not waiting to find out. It has launched its own program. The Miami Herald story is here:

In their latest paychecks, thousands of Miami-Dade teachers got an extra bump based on their students’ or schools’ FCAT scores. Some 120 teachers are poised to receive even bigger bumps — $4,000 to $25,000 — for their students’ gains.

The bonuses mark Miami-Dade’s foray into performance pay, a controversial policy that is part of the Obama Administration’s education reform agenda.

As the first district in Florida to implement such a plan, Miami-Dade has a head start on what will become a state requirement in 2014.

As the nation’s fourth-largest school district, it is also trying to succeed where others have failed. Places like New York and Texas have scrapped or deeply slashed their merit-pay systems because of a lack of money or results — or both.