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Missouri’s effort at teacher tenure reform being killed by GOP opposition

May 1, 2013 by

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones has made teacher tenure reform a priority for the current legislative session, but the Republican lawmaker is getting heavy resistance from members of his own party.

On Monday, Jones won a modest victory when a House committee approved a bill that ties a third of a teacher’s job review to his or her students’ test scores and overall academic growth.

The proposed law also prohibits seniority from being considered during teacher layoffs, requires annual teacher evaluations, and mandates that educators with three consecutive negative evaluations be fired, reports The Kansas City Star.

The bill now heads to the full House of Representatives where it is expected to be eviscerated by both Democrats and Republicans through the amendment process.

Democratic state Rep. Brandon Ellington was instrumental in getting the bill out of committee, but has promised to offer amendments stripping the bill of its seniority ban and its three-year termination mandate, the Star reports.

Even if Jones manages to shepherd the tenure bill through the House, it is expected to meet a quick death either in the Republican-controlled Senate or on the desk of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

A similar bill was recently defeated in the state House by an overwhelming vote of 102-55, despite the fact that the GOP controls the chamber.

School reformers have to find this all very disappointing, particularly the lack of cooperation from a Republican-dominated legislature. Many states have passed similar education reforms in recent years, with most of the driving force coming from Republicans.

While the tenure bill is a longshot in the current legislative session, Jones has emphasized that he will try again next year if necessary, reports

via Missouri’s effort at teacher tenure reform being killed by GOP opposition – :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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