Teaching Profession

Testing Season Gets Teachers Excused From Jury Duty

By Jordan Moeny — April 09, 2015 1 min read
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Two teachers in Tampa, Fla., have been excused from jury duty this week for a reason close to many teachers’ hearts (or, at least, paychecks): performance pay.

Both teachers were being considered as jurors in a murder trial, but one of the lawyers asked the judge to excuse them on the grounds that testing season is fast-approaching, and failing to be in school could put student success—and teacher evaluations—at risk. Bay News 9 reports that the lawyer argued the teachers would be “too distracted to be impartial jurors.”

“Our pay, or raises, are part of student grades,” one teacher reportedly told the judge. “For us, it’s how they do on that test at the end of the year. They don’t do well, that looks bad on me. They don’t do well, I don’t get a raise, or I lose my job depending on how poorly they do.”

The judge accepted the argument.

In Tampa, 40 percent of teacher pay is based on student performance, according to Bay News 9. Given that teacher absences have been linked to lower test scores, it’s understandable that the teachers might be a little distracted from the matter at hand.

Image: Joe Gratz/Flickr Creative Commons

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.