When it comes to merit pay, Florida's teachers are about as ill-tempered as a gator buzzed by an Everglades airboat. The state legislature launched the STAR (Special Teachers are Rewarded) program in 2006, which gave 25 percent of public-school teachers five-percent bonuses, based primarily on student scores on the Sunshine State's standardized assessment. Educators growled, claiming that STAR encouraged an unhealthy competition for limited funds. The legislature responded, in March replacing STAR with MAP (Merit Awards Program). The initial response from teachers? NOPE (No merit-pay Options will Placate our Educators). But of late the tide is turning (see here and here) and those who still flat-out reject teacher-pay reform are starting to look like a surly lot who simply refuse to compromise. As we see it,, the performance-pay train is leaving the station, and the "just say no" crowd can either jump on or eventually get left in the dust.

"Teachers Slap ‘F' on Bonus Pay Plan," by Bill Kaczor, Associated Press, September 16, 2007

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