Teachers should be evaluated on the quality of their work, not on how long they've been teaching. Really that should go for any profession.
The quality of their work isn't always reflected in the test scores of the students. That's the big problem with the bill, but the backers of it simply don't care about that. You can gauge teacher quality by multiple observations (announced and unannounced) throughout the year. That is what really should be driving any type of merit pay bill.
I don't know the specifics of the bill and have concerns with using standardized testing to decide if kids pass or fail. But I think part of the problem with education is that too many bad teachers are allowed to keep their jobs, especially if they have tenure.
That is what we have now in Florida. Students must pass the grade 10 FCAT Math/Reading in order to get a regular high school diploma. If you have concerns, then get ready to have more. In order to evaluate other teachers besides English/Math/Reading ones, MORE tests have to be developed. So get ready for more standardized testing to evaluate each and every
subject of each and every
grade level. That's a lot of tests, don't you think? Now, it is highly unlikely that they are going to make the students responsible for the tests (ie graduation requirements) so we are going to base a hard working teacher's life on whether or not the student feels like trying for the test that has no bearing on them. How many more instructional days are we going to lose to give these tests?
PS: Where is the money to implement this? Nowhere. More good news, Rick Scott is cutting money for education at the same time. Yay.