Teacher salaries aren’t often on the mind of the average student. Teachers teach; we learn; they get paid, but an amendment on the Missouri Constitution brings attention to the way teachers will be paid.
Teacher salaries are currently based on a number of factors including degrees and years of experience. A school like Webster could easily hire two inexperienced graduates for the price of one more experienced teacher. Amendment 3 would change that by basing the salary off of students standardized test scores.
However, basing salaries on something as subjective, although Teach Great would claim “objective,” as a student’s test scores, is totally ignoring any other factor that goes into a student’s grade. The amendment doesn’t account for special cases like unique student academic and personal situations. Basically, it’s too vague and fails to account for too many situations.
Another problem is the people backing this campaign. As of Sept. 4, Teach Great, a campaign backing Amendment 3, received $1.8 million. The majority of the funding was from Rex Sinquefield. Sinquefield, a wealthy ex-financial executive, has publicly been an advocate for the privatization of public education, or as he said, “rescuing education from teachers’ unions.”
In fact, quite a few of the supporters of the amendment aren’t educators. They’re financial executives or lawyers. Why should people who know little about education be put in the position to decide what’s best? It should not always be that those with the most money have the most say.
The education system is not perfect. There are great teachers who get laid off and not so great ones that stay, but to totally eliminate the little protection given to teachers would be a mistake.