Some State Lawmakers Want to Stop Teacher Tenure

7 years 9 months 1 week ago Wednesday, March 02 2011 Mar 2, 2011 Wednesday, March 02, 2011 8:44:00 PM CST March 02, 2011 in News

JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House of Representatives discussed House Bill 628 Wednesday, which would change the way teachers get raises. The bill would tie teachers' salaries to their evaluations which are based on student state test scores.

Republican Rep. Scott Dieckhaus of Washington is sponsoring the bill and says that teachers on a tenure system don't perform as well as they should. He did studies on school districts around the state. In the Jefferson City school district, he says the number of teachers who make $70,000- $80,000 would increase from 2 to 110 people. The number of teachers who make $30,000- $40,000 would also increase from 119 to 440 teachers.

"Good teachers don't need protection. Good teachers are going to be valued and they're going to continue to work," Dieckhaus said. "The teachers that are tenured are the teachers that are not that great."

Jefferson City High School teacher Lou Mazzocco disagrees. He says a teacher's salary should not be based on how well the students do in his/her class.

"I don't think you'll have any teacher out there that won't tell you, 'We've got some good apples, and we've got some bad apples,'" Mazzocco said. "It's a matter of trying to improve and everybody getting better."

Mazzocco, only in his second year in the district, teaches "at risk" kids who need extra help in obtaining credit. Even so, he's not worried about the possibility of the new bill affecting him.

"'Do I think that it's going to create some competition between teachers? Yeah,'" Mazzocco said. "I think sometimes that competition can be healthy, but I think sometimes it can create some divisiveness."

Mazzocco worries it might create tension between teachers in the school. If passed into law, the changes would take effect next July.

 

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