Wednesday, September 9, 2015

FL: Bonus Plan Hits a Snag

Florida had a wacky idea-- let's give teachers a bonus for something completely unrelated to their job performance, and so was born the Best and the Brightest bonus program.

Teachers would be given a frosty $10,000 for having high SAT/ACT scores. This is potentially both expensive (Florida set aside $44 mill for this), and it's also crazy pants. Presumably that's why Florida did not also consider bonuses for students who were in the Bluebird reading group in third grade or who were regularly chosen to clean the erasers.

While the whole idea is silly and insulting and some teachers were fully prepared to tell the state to take its $10K and stick it where the mangroves grow, you can bet some Florida teachers were willing to keep a straight face all the way to the bank.


Now it turns out that an official transcript from your college, which lists your SAT score, is not good enough.

No-- you have to have an official straight-from-the-College-Board paper listing your score. This may be a bit of a problem if you took the SATs back when Nixon was President or you're not a compulsive packrat or you correctly noted that once you were admitted to college, your SAT score would never ever matter again in your entire life.

The deadline is October 1, so good luck getting a new printout from the College Board in time. Of course, new hires-- like, say, Teach for America candidates who are fresh out of college and headed down to Florida because they heard about the sweet $10K bonus-- I'll bet lots of those guys may still have their official SAT papers from just a few years ago.

Boy. It's almost like Florida only wanted to use the bonus to attract a certain kind of "teacher" to Florida, and the state wasn't really interested in rewarding the Best and Brightest that they already had.


  1. Seems kind of like a feature, rather than a snag. So not surprised. But really, who would be, considering the source?

  2. Seems kind of like a feature, rather than a snag. So not surprised. But really, who would be, considering the source?

  3. Who are the scaly-wags who are looking to collect $10,000 before they have even passed GO? Tells you something about the character of teachers that Florida is trying to recruit. I wouldn't want such an ignorant, selfish newbie as a teacher in my child's classroom.

  4. This sounds like a great age discriminaton law suit. Send in the lawyers and let the fun begin.

  5. Hmmm, a way to funnel more money to the ACT and Coleman's College Board? Sure looks like it.

    1. That was my first thought too, Lisa. I feel quite sure you have to pay for a copy of your scores.

  6. I actually have my scores (yes, a bit of a packrat considering I'm almost 50) but I will NOT be heading to Florida to work with TFA "teachers." My understanding is that they are not certified and many are just "teaching" until something better (in their actual field) comes along. I'm too used to working with seasoned professionals and dedicated, recently certified teachers. Even the lower cost of living and the 10K bonus won't lure me down there.