Columbia Public School board member Jonathan Sessions said in an email he thinks teachers should be allowed to retain tenure, as it does not shield them from expectations. He also stressed the bill is not the answer to the state’s problems.
“This is a radical proposal from a small group of individuals with little to no education background being made because of a national perspective and pressure, not because Columbia, Missouri, has a problem,” Sessions said. “Year after year, the proponents of this and similar bills continue to bring contentious topics to the floor as simple answers to complex questions while annually reducing funding to education in the state of Missouri. They distract us by throwing their trash in our front yard, all the while they are stealing the cows out of our barn.”
School board president Tom Rose said Columbia’s public schools have protocols and evaluations in place that allow for the removal of ineffective teachers who have not shown improvement or adherence to policy. Rose also addressed one of the key arguments for the bill, no other profession has such protection.
“I do understand the thinking that in every other profession there is no such guarantee of continued employment,” Rose said in an email. “The issues arise in determining how to evaluate effectiveness in a way that is consistent and fair to the employees. I do feel that the process for removal of ineffective teachers could be less cumbersome, and that some method of evaluation tied to student performance (or more appropriately, to student academic growth as well as achievement) should be investigated.”
As for whether the timing of such a bill is appropriate considering the current economic status, Rose said the time may never seem right.
“I would have a concern on the loss of teacher tenure having a negative impact on teacher morale and creating a competitive atmosphere where no one would want to work with the more challenging students,” he said.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Columbia board members defend teacher tenure
The University of Missouri-Columbia's student newspaper, The Maneater, offers a look at the Scott Dieckhaus bill attacking teacher tenure with comments from Columbia School District board members: