(From Progress Missouri)
A poll released today by the Missouri National Education Association shows Billionaire Rex Sinquefield’s anti-public education agenda is out-of-touch with Missouri voters and could lead to electoral risk for Missouri legislators supporting his extreme agenda.
The poll shows that a vast majority, 76%, of Missourians believe their public schools and teachers are doing a good job educating children (see Q1) and 78% trust their local school boards to set policy when it comes to evaluating and paying teachers rather than the legislature in Jefferson City (see Q2)
On specific legislation under consideration before the general assembly an overwhelming majority (68%) oppose measures like Jane Cunningham’s SB806, which would increase the length of time a teacher must be continuously employed by a school district from 5 years to 10 years before they can gain tenure (see Q6). Other proposed legislation such as using standardized testing as the sole basis for evaluating teachers also fairs poorly with 68% of Missourians against such evaluation schemes (see Q5).
The poll warns of electoral risk for politicians following Billionaire Sinquefield’s agenda of removing local control from school boards when deciding how to hire, pay, and evaluate teachers. Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters say such actions make them less likely to vote for their state legislator. The support of public education and the rejection of Sinquefield’s extreme agenda is seen across age, political party and gender lines.
Chris Guinther, a teacher on leave from the Francis Howell School District and President of the Missouri NEA commented on the poll, “This poll confirms that Billionaire Rex Sinquefield is plainly out of step with Missouri values. We have seen the real Rex Sinquefield and his hostility towards children, parents and teachers in our public schools whose work he believes is a Klu Klux Klan conspiracy. This poll demonstrates that Missouri is rejecting is extreme agenda. “
Guinther statement is referring to a presentation at Lindenwood University where Sinquefield made offensive comments and demonstrated a lack of understanding of how student and teacher evaluations currently function in Missouri. The video can be found here:http://youtu.be/w1z4OYxjOjg
Guinther continued, “The poll is a clear statement to Missouri’s leaders: ‘It’s time for Missouri to think bigger, invest in our kids and give them the resources they need to achieve their personal best. That starts with a well-trained experienced teacher. Attacks on frontline educators, parents and students is not the way forward.’”
Public Policy Polling (http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/) conducted the poll of 593 Missouri voters April 14th and 15th. The full question text with results are attached.