Speak out against tenure attacks
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Posted Date: 3/1/2012

 
What can you do?
Educate yourself 
  •  Sinquefield constitutional amendment promises to waste "significant" money while undermining teachers
  •  Sinquefield Calls Public Education a Conspiracy of Ku Klux Klan 
  •  Constitutional Attack on Tenure Undermines Teacher Advocacy (pdf flier)
  •  Attacks on teacher tenure undermine teachers’ advocacy for students without fear of reprisal
  •  Tenure FAQ (html| pdf)
  •  Tenure Myths
  •  Real life reasons of good teachers being fired for bad reasons
  •  NEA teacher evaluation kit
  •  Media coverage

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Media coverage

Video by KFVS

WGEM Video

KRCG Video and article - Groups push to end tenure for teachers

St. Louis Post Dispatch - Teacher tenure is under increased attack

Columbia Missourian - Columbia school personnel, board express opinions about teacher tenure
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
  • deny any state or local funds for school districts that enter into contracts with teachers or certificated staff for longer than three years, or that use years of employment to retain, remove, promote, or demote teachers;
     
  • require local school districts to develop new salary and performance standards for teachers; and
     
  • require all teachers and certificated staff to serve as “at will” employees who may be dismissed or demoted without cause unless they enter into a contract that meets the above provisions or are covered by an existing contract with the school district?

Estimated costs for state and local governmental entities are unknown, but the initial and annual costs could be significant (millions of dollars) depending on decisions made at the state and local level to comply with required provisions in this proposal.

The petition, which would amend Article IX of the Constitution of the State of Missouri, was submitted by Mr. Marc H. Ellinger of 308 E. High St., Ste. 301, Jefferson City MO 65101. Marc Ellinger is the attorney of extreme right-wing billionaire Rex Sinquefield.

Following is the proposed constitutional amendment:

Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

Article IX is amended by adopting five new sections to be known as Article IX, Sections 3(d), 3(e), 3(f), 3(g), and 3(h), to read as follows:

Section 3(d). All teachers and certificated staff shall be at will employees unless a contract is entered into between a school district and teacher or certificated staff i) prior to the effective date of this section; or ii) pursuant to the provisions of sections 3(e), 3(f), and 3(g) of this article.

Section 3(e). No school district receiving any state funding or local tax revenue funding shall enter into new contracts having a term or duration in excess of three years with teachers of certificated staff.

Section 3(f) Notwithstanding any provisions of this constitution, no school district which uses seniority or duration of employment as a basis, in whole or in part, to retain, remove, promote or demote teachers shall receive any state funding or local tax revenue funding.

Section 3(g) Notwithstanding any provisions of this constitution, every school district shall develop and use local performance standards to retain, remove, promote, demote and set compensation for teachers in such school district, the majority of such standards shall be based upon quantifiable student performance data as measured by objective criteria.

Section 3(h). Nothing in sections 3(d) through 3(h) of this article shall infringe upon the rights of employees to collectively bargain as provided in article I, section 29 of this Constitution.




2/9/2012
Teacher tenure in Missouri is under fire. Mark Ellinger, usually identified as billionaire Rex Sinquefield’s representative, filed with the Secretary of State an initiative petition to eliminate teacher tenure through a constitutional amendment.

Missouri NEA opposes any measure that interferes with experienced teachers’ efforts to advocate effectively for students without the fear of reprisal.


“Many Missouri schools face real problems related to chronic underfunding and unfulfilled promises,” says MNEA President Chris Guinther, a teacher on leave from the Francis Howell School District. “Attacking frontline teachers only serves to distract those working to ensure every student gets a quality education. Any serious solution to the problems our schools face should empower teachers and not undermine them.”


MNEA is enlisting the help of members, concerned citizens, parents in hopes of defeating this initiative petition.


THE BALLOT INITIATIVE

If right-wing extremists get their way:

  1. Administrators will be free to fire teachers without cause—no due process or protection from arbitrary decisions on their employment status.
  2. The proposed amendment would bar districts that want to keep state and local funding, from using seniority as a factor in firing or promoting teachers. This means complete loss of local control in attracting new teachers or retaining experienced teachers to stay and teach in a remote or difficult school.
  3. No school district receiving any state or local funding would be allowed to enter into new contracts having a term or duration in excess of three years with teachers of certificated staff.
  4. Administrators would evaluate teachers and determine their compensation and employment status requiring the majority of the decision to be based on “quantifiable student performance data,” which is the state multiple-choice end-of-year test.
  5. Local school districts will be required to test every student in every subject in every grade at an outrageous cost to the district. Students could spend weeks taking state-created multiple-choice tests that do not provide teachers with the timely information they need to know to help students close educational gaps.


Marc Ellinger, extreme right-wing billionaire Rex Sinquefield’s attorney, filed a ballot proposal that calls for the addition of five new sections to Article IX of the Missouri Constitution. Following is the amendment:

Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

Article IX is amended by adopting five new sections to be known as Article IX, Sections 3(d), 3(e), 3(f), 3(g), and 3(h), to read as follows:

Section 3(d). All teachers and certificated staff shall be at will employees unless a contract is entered into between a school district and teacher or certificated staff i) prior to the effective date of this section; or ii) pursuant to the provisions of sections 3(e), 3(f), and 3(g) of this article.

Section 3(e). No school district receiving any state funding or local tax revenue funding shall enter into new contracts having a term or duration in excess of three years with teachers of certificated staff.

Section 3(f) Notwithstanding any provisions of this constitution, no school district which uses seniority or duration of employment as a basis, in whole or in part, to retain, remove, promote or demote teachers shall receive any state funding or local tax revenue funding.

Section 3(g) Notwithstanding any provisions of this constitution, every school district shall develop and use local performance standards to retain, remove, promote, demote and set compensation for teachers in such school district, the majority of such standards shall be based upon quantifiable student performance data as measured by objective criteria.

Section 3(h). Nothing in sections 3(d) through 3(h) of this article shall infringe upon the rights of employees to collectively bargain as provided in article I, section 29 of this Constitution.





MNEA Executive Director Ben Simmons and Columbia MNEA President Susan McClintic speak out against the attacks on tenure in this clip from KRCG.
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