The Senate teacher quality reform bill cleared all of its committees of reference this week, and will soon be taken up on the floor of the Senate. The Senate adopted a proposed committee substitute to conform its bill to the House version, which means that House and Senate lawmakers have likely settled their substantive differences. Meanwhile, the House proposal cleared its first committee after more than five hours of testimony from proponents and opponents. Proponents argued that rewarding and recognizing excellent teachers would elevate the teaching profession, while opponents claimed that the proposed changes would create a hostile work environment for teachers and cause otherwise excellent teachers to leave the state. Other debate centered on the use of as-yet undeveloped assessments as the basis for teacher and administrator evaluations, a longstanding criticism of previous attempts at teacher merit pay during the past decade in Florida.