How Come Florida Legislators Aren’t Talking About VAM and Merit Pay?


Miami-Dade superintendent Alberto Carvalho made  the pitch to the state board of education last week that Florida must pause its multiple accountability systems:

Carvalho said the proposal would make it clear which schools and districts were performing well and which were not.

“There is a way of creating a transitional accountability system,” he said, “that includes a direct, legible and easily-understood school report card for parents and business leaders without necessarily imposing a letter grade during the transitional period.”

Carvalho also urged the board to reconsider the state’s teacher evaluation rules and the reliance on a statistical formula which determines teacher performance, known as Value-Added Measure, or VAM.

“VAM is not understood by teachers,” he said. “And you and I know if it’s not understood, it is not trusted.”

Funny you don’t hear about VAM or its “merit pay” structure from Florida republican legislators as it’s supposed to start next year when SB 736 is to be fully implemented. Oh, there’s been plenty of happy talk about charter schools and school choice, but not so much about the bill that’s  ironically called “the Student Success Act.”

Wasn’t it supposed to be about kids? Remember when SB 736 sponsor, Sen. Steve Wise  wailed in 2011 that “kids would be irreparably harmed,” if his bill wasn’t passed?

There’s an election this year. And the guy who signed the bill, Rick Scott, is going to get hammered by Charlie Crist – who vetoed a similar bill and Nan Rich who recommended to that blow hard Wise, that we should see what happens with the Hillsborough pilot program first.

Republican legislators – and Scott – know the fight on common core and its new tests is a loser for them. No sense bringing up their other bad ideas right now.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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One Response to How Come Florida Legislators Aren’t Talking About VAM and Merit Pay?

  1. Kenny Bankenship says:

    And the acronym for the Student Success Act is something else backwards!

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