Missouri votes in favor of teacher tenure
Last week, voters in Missouri vocally weighed in against a proposed amendment that would have traded tenure for renewable three-year contracts and made test scores the chief factor in teacher evaluations.
An overwhelming number of teacher groups, statewide education associations and school boards fought against the amendment. Teach Great, the group that drove the proposal, even backed off before the vote admitting that the timing was off. The group hoped this system would reward good teachers.
Andy Hosmer, Springfield Public Schools board vice president said, “I’m thrilled the voters saw through this blatant attempt to influence education across Missouri. This was a situation where no one thought this was a good idea.”
Had the proposal passed, teacher contracts would have lasted just three years and tenure would have no longer existed. Students would have taken more tests and bargaining over teacher evaluations would be prohibited. Teachers’ salaries would be based on the performance of their students with over 50 percent of teacher evaluations based on standardized testing.
Teachers felt that the proposal would have forced them to teach the test – and believe the outcomes still may not have been an accurate representation of an educator’s ability to teach. Regardless of instruction quality, there are some students who consistently test poorly.
The testing also would have cost Missouri millions of dollars.
Luckily, the statewide efforts to spread the word about the negative consequences of the proposal proved to be triumphant. While I personally want to see schools employ high quality teachers who can best teach our students, I don’t think scrapping tenure is the best route to take to reach these goals. I am glad Missouri voted to keep teacher tenure.