Testing is not teaching
Testing is not learning
A student is more than a test score
A teacher is more than a test score
Unfortunately politicians only care about those numbers.
I should just start video chatting my lessons. Why bother with actual teaching when numbers is what I need to obtain. Why impact a life when a test score measures how effective I am as an educator. Better yet my own test scores now play a role in in my effectiveness. Yes, my ACT or SAT scores determine if I am eligible for a scholarship (a.k.a. bonus). I am a highly effective teacher based on Florida standards but due to this new policy I may not qualify for this bonus. I would need to rank in the 80th percentile on my own ACT or SAT scores that I took over a decade ago in order to qualify. This policy which happens to be called Florida's Best and Brightest "Scholarship" gives teachers with highly effective ratings and their own high achieving ACT or SAT test scores up to $10,000. The thinking behind this policy is that the brightest teachers get the most out of their students. I am one of Florida's best teachers but I know that I am not one of their brightest stars.
When I first heard about this policy I thought it was a joke, nope it actually went through. Who would of thought that a test I took over ten years ago would play apart of me receiving a bonus. I was just taking these test to get into college...or so I thought. I never thought these scores would play any role in my adult life, but no here they are again. It's like a bad sunburn. Which is exactly what I had the day I took the ACT that bright and early Saturday morning in 2002.
Here is the official explanation of the "scholarship" from the state of Florida's website:
Beginning in 2015-2016 school year the scholarship program shall provide funding for scholarships to be awarded to teachers who have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement. To be eligible for a scholarship, a teacher must have scored at or above the 80th percentile on either the SAT or ACT based upon the percentile ranks in effect when the teacher took the assessment and also have been evaluated as highly effective pursuant to. s. 1012.34,F.S.