Governor Charlie Crist
You and I have met before, yet I am aware you have no idea who I am. My name is Cade Resnick, and I am a registered voting RepublicanI am also a teacher, and consider myself to be an educated individual
I am sure you have been paying close attention to the news concerning the bills within education coming out of the Senate and the House.
Please read my comments and consider what each teacher is telling you. They are your front line personnel. I am not going to tell you how to do your job without learning from you, and then offering guidance, and I feel that the Senate and House are ignoring teachers and passing an old Jeb Bush agenda which has been known to fail (Merit Pay)
Last night, the House passed the education bill and stated, " Under the bill, pay raises for Florida's 167,000 teachers would be based primarily on student test scores. No longer would years of experience and degrees dictate teacher salary. Instead, pay would hinge on student "learning gains," as charted by standardized tests, and principal reviews."
This is a travesty. You may want to share with the members of the house that are voting, that merit pay is based on a bonus and not salary. The way this is being touted, my salary each year would change based on the success of my students. If you want to create a merit pay system, do so, which is fair. Secondly, there is no rhetoric toward the students. Are they going to be held back as a failure for failing this test? There is a reality here that needs to be addressed, and the members of the Florida congress are refusing to see this.
Mike Horner stated, " "This is what I like about the bill…If you do a good job, you make more money," said Rep. Mike Horner, R -Kissimmee, arguing it would motivate teachers and have a "profound effect on the students in this state."
Who is he to decide what a good job is? This is your opportunity to share with the members of the congress that this bill is not properly aligned with the best format for education
Adding to this one bill, three more made it to your desk this week. As a teacher I will loudly tell you that less students in a class offers the best chance for success. If you want the public to change their vote, explain it honestly. Yes it will cost us money to enact a plan which we have had 8 years to prepare for. Just because the State Congress and yourself have over spent, should not be the fault of education. It would seem this is another State Poltician failure, rather than education, yet, you receive a raise in the face of failure?
" Some also question how the state and the school districts, as the bill requires, can develop so many new tests to cover teachers whose work is not tested on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test or national exams such as Advanced Placement."
Why spend the extra money to develop all these tests immediately. Allow the State to develop tests that are valid and reliable, and the mimic the New York System of education. The students pass an end of year test to leave the course. This gives teachers the chance to make class harder.
Currently, Teachers have so much more to worry about other than their classroom material. I urge any and or many congress people to spend a week with me in my classroom. (you are invited as well) I want them to talk with students, and verify that this job is as easy as they think it is.
At this point Governor, I feel it is your responsibility as a Republican to honor the concept of being a Republican. Less Government and more financial control. This bill, which is being dismissed by the Democrats, has a democratic structure all over it, which shows me that the underlying political scheme is to move toward privatizing education. Vouchers are continued for the poor. NO. With extra money, go into the schools and fix them. That is your responsibility as politicians.
I will offer you 5% bad teachers, and perhaps some of these 5% are old yet teach since they cannot afford to retire. This failure is the Florida System again.
Governor, it is time to step and be the difference. People of the State need to see it, and the teachers need to see it.
Veto these bills and allow the education system the chance to create true reform which can lead us forward into the 21st century properly.
I suggest you help in creating a task force which spends time learning how to create a proper education system which is balanced and fair for all involved.
Thank you for listening and I look forward to seeing you Veto this bill
Sent to Governor Crist, 04/09/2010