Florida Ties Federal Grant Money To Teacher Merit Pay

merit_payFlorida is linking its application for $700 million in federal education grant money to the adoption of local merit pay plans, which have been unpopular among teachers in the past although that could be changing.

Florida Education Association spokesman Mark Pudlow said Friday that the statewide teachers union needs to study the plan Education Commissioner Eric Smith sent to school superintendents Thursday before making a decision on it. Most teachers historically have opposed salary plans that tie their pay to student performance as measured by standardized exams such as the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT. That includes the state’s optional Merit Awards Program, which is based 60 percent on tests and 40 percent on evaluations by principals.

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(The Miami Herald 12.11.09)

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