I believe that school districts should have the power to employ the very best available teachers with their limited resources. They should have the ability to dismiss unfit teachers quickly so that students are able to learn. Tax-payers have a right to expect the absolute best for their hard-earned dollars.
MO's HB 628 is poorly written and I don't believe it will lead to overall improvement, assuming that is the goal.
A teacher's rank-order, as defined in the bill, is too heavily based on student performance. So when they write "No more than forty percent of a building's teachers shall receive a standards-based score in the top thirty-three percent," they are not using a "standard" for measurement which every teacher could measure up to if they worked hard enough. Would parents allow this sort of ranking for their students' grades?
And if I'm reading the bill correctly, nothing about our state funding formula would change, however, the state would be directing local districts how to allocate their limited resources within each building for teacher salaries. Should local school boards relinquish this level of control over such a large portion of their operating budgets?
I do like this part of the bill below - it's too bad it wasn't part of a more reasonable proposal. I believe this issue should have been addressed years ago.
No teacher shall take part in the management of a campaign for the election or defeat of members of a board of education by which he or she is employed. Any teacher who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to termination of his or her employment by the district with the right of a hearing as heretofore provided.
A telling aspect of HB 628 is that the Missouri School Boards Association has endorsed it. That shows that Missouri’s troubles with public education are as much a product of weak stewardship as poor teachers.
Low-performing teachers are hired and retained by supervisors who have failed to properly vet, evaluate, supervise and manage their personnel.
By advancing such profoundly flawed legislation, the School Boards Association, with help from state lawmakers, demonstrates that its members are unwilling to do the hard work of recruiting and developing good teachers.