Proposed Teacher Tenure Amendment Drawing Backlash


Published 08/09 2014 03:08PM

Updated 08/09 2014 10:52PM

(CARL JUNCTION, Mo.) With the primary election now in the books, all eyes are toward Novembers general election.

On the ballot, will be Amendment three, a controversial act that would affect teacher tenure laws and base teacher evaluations on student success

"Well we're constantly working to improve our schools, but we don't feel like this amendment is the right vehicle to accomplish the kind of change that needs to occur in our schools," said Dr. Gary Reed, an assistant superintendent with the Carl Junction School District.

This November, Missourians are being asked to vote on amendment three.

It would weaken tenure protections of teachers and base their salary and promotion opportunities largely on students' performance.

Reed calls the amendment a "one size fits all" approach to education.

"There's no cookie cutter solution or formula that addresses which teachers ought to be kept and which teachers ought to be released," he said.

Janet Johnson, who has been with the Carl Junction School District for 14 years, says amendment three places the wrong pressure on teachers and students

"It's just hard to think that this is going to be such a huge piece of their evaluation and the pressure that will be put upon teachers that I don't feel that they will be free to do their best work," she said.

The Carl Junction School District currently uses a state-approved method for evaluating teachers.
Administrators go into classrooms with set criteria to see first-hand how students respond to instruction.

"We are working on, you know working with our problem, solving and our higher critical thinking, but you know we also need to be looking at the whole child, instead of just the educational part of the child," said Mona Donnel, an instructional coach with the district.

Teach Great is the organization behind the amendment.

Representatives from the group were in St. Joseph in April collecting signatures.

The Missouri State Teacher Association opposes the amendment and will campaign against it in the coming months.

Previous stories on the proposal

Group works to eliminate teacher tenure

Petition calling for end of teacher tenure

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