Missouri State Legislatures defeated HB 631 on April 10. HB 631 is a bill that could prevent teachers from getting tenure. Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa, is the sponsor of this bill.
HB 631 would have changed the teacher tenure laws, imposed the use of a teacher evaluation system on local school districts, regulated the evaluation of teachers and rated teachers based on student tests.
Elmer said, on News-Leader.com that, “We are saying that the educators within our system who are not doing their job should be held accountable, and those who are doing their job should be rewarded.”
Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director, has published several notices about the bill.
Fajen said, “The bill imposes intrusive state mandates that will interfere with the new evaluation system already being evaluated and implemented in districts across the state. One provision requires at least one-third of teachers’ evaluations to be based on student test scores on state assessments.”
Fajen strongly opposed this “attack on teacher tenure and massive imposition of unproven mandates and elimination of local control and decision-making.”
MSTA Representative Margaret Skouby said, “Tenure laws were enacted to help prevent teachers from being dismissed because they were becoming too expensive to pay. Younger teachers get paid less, so replacing the older teachers with younger ones would be less expensive.”
Representative Jeanne Kirkton said, “I don’t believe it will improve education. I think it will be detrimental to teacher morale and result in an atmosphere of competition rather than collaboration. I believe the school administrators are responsible for the evaluation of teachers and providing them with feedback and support to improve performance and address concerns and to terminate them if necessary. Teachers should not be judged solely on a student’s performance. There are so many variables that impact educational performance that are out of a teacher’s control.”
Superintendent Dr. Sarah Riss said, “One of the major differences is telling us how we are going to categorize teachers, and so in this new law, teachers would be put into four categories: effective, highly effective, minimally effective, or ineffective. Now, we do that now, we just don’t use those words and we have our own system. This new law would also add in a section where 33% of a teacher’s rating, of those four ratings, would be based on student performance, or student growth.”