Support Local Control? Oppose Teacher Tenure Mandates
In November, Missourians will vote on a constitutional amendment that would change the way school districts manage the teacher workforce. The amendment would strip away current teacher tenure protections for new teachers and limit contracts of these new teachers to a maximum of three years. Additionally, it would require school districts to use student performance data in teacher evaluations.
Now, there are good and compelling arguments on both sides of this issue. Ironically, however, one of the main arguments against Amendment 3 is that it constitutes a loss of local control.
Amendment 3 is a top-down mandate will shift local control away from parents, teachers and local school districts. #MoNoOn3
— Protect Our Schools (@LocalSchoolsMO) October 14, 2014
There is some truth to that claim, but it is important to ask the question, “As compared to what?”
Under current state statutes, Missouri public school districts are forced to enter into an “indefinite contract” when teachers receive tenure and that it shall last for an “indefinite period.” Talk about top down!
What’s more, state statutes mandate a specific process for removing a tenured teacher. This is illustrated in the graphic below (from my paper, “The Power to Lead”).
It is perfectly fine for opponents of Amendment 3 to call it a “top-down mandate” that will strip away local control. I just hope that after November 4, these groups will continue to support local control and oppose top-down mandates for teacher tenure.