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Should Missouri Teachers Get Tenure?

A state senator from the area has pushed a measure to double the time it takes teachers to get tenure from five to 10 years.

Efforts have been underway to eliminate tenure for public school teachers in Missouri, but those have largely come up short in the state legislature.

The Columbia Missourian reported Tuesday that the "debate came to halt when a divided (state senate) chamber approved an amendment to keep tenure in place while a special task force examines teacher pay and effectiveness."

But the issue hasn't entirely died. On Thursday, Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, amended her original version of the bill; now, that version has gotten first-round approval in the state senate. It would double from five to 10 years the number of years a teacher must serve before earning tenure.

MissouriNet reports that, according to Cunningham, "the tenure system makes it too hard to get rid of ineffective teachers, (and she) had wanted to eliminate tenure but has settled for a version of her bill that another senator calls 'watered down.'"

The Missourian notes that tenure makes it difficult for school districts to get rid of a teacher for any reasons other than immoral conduct; incompetency, inefficiency or insubordination; willful or persistent violation of the state's school laws or regulations; excessive absences; or conviction of certain felonies.

Proponents of eliminating or weakening tenure say the existing system makes it too difficult to fire underperforming teachers.

Democratic Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, was the only Democrat opposed to keeping the teacher tenure system intact, according to a report by CBS Radio in St. Louis

“All I am asking for is accountability,” Chappelle-Nadal told CBS; she is also a school board member for University City.

Do you agree? Should Missouri weaken the tenure system — if not eliminate it altogether? Or should teachers have the sort of job protection tenure affords?

Patch blogger, Aimee Granneman, has spoken out in support of teachers and tenure.

teri Detter April 23, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I mentioned to Striek that Brian Nieves has a constituents newsletter and has expressed that parents are in favor of a reformed tenure law. Striek didnt buy that because of her experience paraents were all supported of the teachers. I then explain there are parents who are reluctant to say any negatives toward teacher job security in an overt way but would and do voice that opinion elsewhere and not directly to the teacher in their school distract. aka Brian Nieves website where parents in his district have favored reformed . does that clarify ?
Striek April 23, 2012 at 05:39 PM
You've more than clarified your bias against teachers in the real world and in favor of state senators with political agendas.
Striek April 23, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Wow. Brian Nieves - never heard of this guy until today. Good grief - why am I even debating this topic when you reference such an extremist clown. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/who-knew-secession-again-on-the-agenda-in-missouri/255980/
Michael Rhodes April 23, 2012 at 06:38 PM
MSTA has the following on their website: Q: Will MSTA become a union? A: Truthfully, we’ve always done what a union does. We’re involved in the political process and the negotiations process. We fight legislatively for funding and defend teachers when employment-related problems arise or when legal assistance is needed. We will continue to do all those things. So, they are not a union, but act as one. If that helps. MNEA states they are a union: 7. Is MNEA a union or a professional association? We are both. A union advocates for its members. The American Bar Association and the American Medical Association both qualify as unions. And like the MNEA and NEA, they are also professional associations. Education employees are in an unusual category because what affects employees also affects children. A teacher’s working conditions are a child's learning conditions.
Earl Higgins April 23, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Holy smokes Striek, good work there! I had always wondered in the back of my mind if this whole thing were a conjured-up wedge non-issue fabricated by the Tea Party. If that article on Brian Nieves' actions isn't the smoking gun, I don't know what is. Thanks, Nieves and Cunningham for wasting everyone's time on this non-problem.

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