Sunday, March 12, 2006
Mayer bill is an insult to Missouri educators
A hearing for Senate Bill 983, which is an insult to Missouri educators, was held Tuesday before Sen. Gary Nodler's Education Committee.
The bill, sponsored by Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, requires the State Board of Education to report to the General Assembly and to the governor those districts that have and have not met a goal of having 66 percent of their budgets dedicated to what is termed "classroom instruction."
The state has already established a method of determining which school districts are meeting educational goals. That is the reason the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) exists.
Under Mayer's misguided bill, those districts which meet this artificial 66 percent goal, will be designated as Governor's Students First districts. Apparently, districts that spend 61 or 62 percent on what the governor and the godfather of the 65 percent movement, Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, deem to be "classroom instruction," do not count with the governor even if they have top-notch MAP scores.
The state already has a designation of "Accredited with Distinction," which the Joplin R-8 School District (for which I work as an eighth grade communication arts teacher at South Middle School) has attained the past two years. Results, apparently to Mayer and many of his colleagues, are no longer as important as conservative political correctness.
And lest we forget, "classroom instruction" as labeled by Governor Matt Blunt and Byrne does not include such necessities as library services, counseling or school nurses, but does include athletics.
This bill should be tossed out but considering the head of the committee and the makeup of the Senate and House, we most likely will be seeing news releases about the Governor's Student First Districts sometime in the near future.