Missouri lawmakers call for tougher tenure, end to social promotionMonday, January 24, 2011___________________________________________________________________________________
JEFFERSON CITY — Led by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a group of House Republicans and two Democrats called for changes in the evaluation of Missouri teachers Monday.
Kinder pledged support to proposals that would make it tougher for public school teachers to earn tenure, which protects them from being fired. He said "enough is enough" when it comes to poor public school performance.
Two St. Louis Democrats, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed and Rep. Tishaura Jones, joined the call to reform education. Nasheed said it was "an indictment on society" to continue letting Missouri public schools operate in their current state.
Despite the Republicans' insistence that the changes are bipartisan, Rep. Scott Dieckhaus, R-Washington, cautioned that the proposals may not have much support from across the aisle.
"Not necessarily everyone up here is endorsing each of the ideas we talk about today," Dieckhaus said. "But the folks behind me do recognize that something needs to be done and that we do need to shake up our education system."
The push for new proposals stems from growing concern over the condition of the state's two metropolitan school districts, Kansas City and St. Louis.
The lawmakers' first proposal promises to change the tenure system. The bill would change the way teachers are evaluated for tenure. The new evaluation format would include a combination of student performance and other guidelines set by the teacher's local district, making it tougher for teachers to earn tenure. The new system would also hold school district administrators accountable by changing their evaluation format to include teacher performance.
"The teacher tenure system I believe is broken in the state of Missouri," Dieckhaus said. "I think it is and has been a hindrance to educating children in the way they deserve to be educated."
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The State of Science and Education Forum t Join us for this live panel featuring federal, state, and local elected officials and policy leaders. This SciFest forum will showcase each leader’s perspective on science, technology and education and how they incorporate these views into their professional career. Panel Moderator: Al Wiman, Vice President – Public Understanding of Science, Saint Louis Science Center Panelists: U.S. Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, Missouri’s 1 st District (St. Louis) State Senator Joseph Keaveny, District 4 (St. Louis) State Representative John Diehl, District 087 (Town and Country) State Representative Scott Dieckhaus, District 109 (Washington) President of St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Lewis Reed
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