Missouri Teacher Performance Evaluation, Amendment 3 (2014)

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Amendment 3
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Missouri Constitution
Referred by:Citizens
Topic:Labor
Status:Defeated Defeatedd
2014 measures
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August 5
Amendment 1 Approveda
Amendment 5 Approveda
Amendment 7 Defeatedd
Amendment 8 Defeatedd
Amendment 9 Approveda
November 4
Amendment 2 Approveda
Amendment 3 Defeatedd
Amendment 6 Defeatedd
Amendment 10 Approveda
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Local measures
A Missouri Teacher Performance Evaluation, Amendment 3 was on the November 4, 2014 election ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. This measure would have implemented teacher performance evaluations that would have been used to determine whether a teacher should be dismissed, retained, demoted or promoted. It would have also prevented teachers from collectively bargaining over the terms of these evaluations.[1]

The measure would have added six subsections to Section 3 of Article IX of the Missouri Constitution.[1]

Election results

Below are the official, certified election results:

Missouri Amendment 3
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,100,62876.43%
Yes 339,422 23.57%

Election results via: Missouri Secretary of State

Background

The use of performance evaluation for educator retention and salaries has been a contentious topic in education reform. Supporters tout its ability to reward teachers based on classroom success, which should lead to better outcomes for students. Many teachers' associations object to the use of student performance on standardized tests to determine teacher pay. The National Education Association (NEA) warned that using student test scores to determine educator salaries "only [measures] a narrow piece of the teacher’s work." Supporters of such measures, however, point out that student outcomes are part of the employment objectives of teachers and, therefore, it makes sense to have a system that holds teachers accountable for those outcomes.[2]

The increased support for and institutionalization of so-called "pay-for-performance" systems has also led to extensive research on their impacts on teacher performance and student outcomes. According to a 2010 literature review by the Kamehameha Schools' Research and Evaluation Division, "There is highly visible support for linking teacher quality and compensation, based in part on the weak links between teacher experience and educational credentials and student achievement." The review also noted, "The most promising systems are based on a collaborative effort from teachers and administrators that honors multiple perspectives and builds trust."[3]

Strict pay-for-performance based on standardized test scores is not the only alternative method to knowledge or skill-based evaluation systems. The performance being measured can be at an individual or institutional level. A possible alteration could be combining individual level skill-based assessments and school level performance -based assessments. Another could be providing additional pay on top of a set salary for meeting skill, evaluation or student performance requirements.[3]

Text of measure

Missouri Constitution
Flag of Missouri.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIII

Ballot title

The official ballot text read as follows:[1]

Official Ballot Title:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • Require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system for which each local school district must receive state approval to continue receiving state and local funding;
  • Require teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  • Require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts; and
  • Prohibit teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system?

Decisions by school districts regarding provisions allowed or required by this proposal and their implementation will influence the potential costs or savings impacting each district. Significant potential costs may be incurred by the state and/or the districts if new/additional evaluation instruments must be developed to satisfy the proposal’s performance evaluation requirements.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to require teachers to be evaluated by a standards based performance evaluation system. Each system must receive state approval in order for the local school district to continue receiving state and local funding. Teachers will be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system. The amendment further requires teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts, with exceptions. The amendment also prohibits teachers from organizing or collectively bargaining regarding the design and implementation of the teacher evaluation system.
A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding teacher contracts and performance evaluation systems.
If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

[4]

Constitutional changes

Had it been approved, the measure would have added six subsections, (d) through (i) inclusively, to Section 3 of Article IX of the Missouri Constitution. The new sections would have read as follows:[5]

Section 3(d). All certified staff shall be at will employees unless a contract is entered into between a school district and certificated staff (1) prior to the effective date of this section; or (2) pursuant to the provisions of section 3(e), 3(f), and 3(h) of this article. "Certified staff," as used in this article, shall mean employees of a school district who hold a valid certificate to teach in the State of Missouri.

Section 3(e). No school district receiving any state funding or local tax revenue funding shall enter into new contracts having a term or duration in excess of three years with certificated staff.

Section 3(f). Effective beginning July 1, 2014, and notwithstanding any provision of this constitution, any school district receiving any state funding or local tax revenue shall develop and implement a standards based performance evaluation system approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The majority of such evaluation system shall be based upon quantifiable student performance data as measured by objective criteria and such evaluation system shall be used in (1) retaining, promoting, demoting, dismissing, removing, discharging and setting compensation for certificated staff; (2) modifying or terminating any contracts with certificated staff; and (3) placing on leave of absence any certificated staff because of a decrease in pupil enrollment, school district reorganization or the financial condition or the school district.

Section 3(g). Nothing in section 3(f) shall prevent a school district from demoting, removing, discharging, or terminating a contract with certificated staff for one or more of the following causes: (1) physical or mental condition unfitting him to instruct or associate with children; (2) immoral conduct; (3) incompetency, inefficiency or insubordination in line of duty; (4) willful or persistent violation of, or failure to obey, state laws or regulations; (5) excessive or unreasonable absence from performance of duties; or (6) conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude.

Section 3(h). In any suit to challenge a school district's decision regarding retention, promotion, demotion, dismissal, removal, discharge, modification or termination of contracts, or setting compensation of certified staff, except for decisions made for any of the causes listed in section 3(g) of this Article, the person bringing such suit must establish that the school district failed to properly utilize the standards based performance evaluation system as referenced in Section 3(f) of this Article.

Section 3(i). Certificated staff shall retain the right to organize and to bargain collectively as provided in article I, section 29 of this Constitution, expect with respect to the design and implementation of the performance based evaluation system established in this article, and as otherwise referenced in this article.[4]

Fiscal impact

According to the official ballot title published by the secretary of state:[1]

Decisions by school districts regarding provisions allowed or required by this proposal and their implementation will influence the potential costs or savings impacting each district. Significant potential costs may be incurred by the state and/or the districts if new/additional evaluation instruments must be developed to satisfy the proposal’s performance evaluation requirements. [4]

Support

MO Teach Great logo.png

Supporters

This measure's proposal was sponsored by Marc Ellinger, an attorney for the Teach Great campaign, which was run by the Children's Education Council of Missouri.[1][6] In early September, Teach Great called off their campaign, saying support for the measure was not polling as well as its members had hoped. "It has become clear that now is not the time to further pursue the Teach Great initiative," said Kate Casas, a spokeswoman for the organization.[7]

Former supporters

  • Teach Great[6]

Organizations

  • Children's Education Council of Missouri (CECM)[6]
  • Committee In Support Of Public Education

Individuals

  • Marc Ellinger, attorney at Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch LLC.[6]
  • Stephanie Bell, attorney at Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch LLC.[6]
  • Rex Sinquefield, retired financial executive[6]

Arguments

The Children's Education Council of Missouri, which ran the Teach Great campaign, provided the following arguments in favor of the amendment:

  • ensure teachers are evaluated based on an objective measure: their students’ academic growth;
  • protect great teachers and their students by requiring teachers to be dismissed, retained, demoted, promoted, and paid primarily using quantifiable student performance data as part of the evaluation system;
  • end the unfair “last-in-first-out” rule, which often means that effective teachers are let go, while ineffective teachers stay;
  • require teachers to enter into contracts of three years or fewer with public school districts, so that their performance can be re-evaluated as it would be in any other profession; and
  • protect the rights of educators to collectively bargain for salary, benefits, and working conditions.[8][4]

—Teach Great

Campaign contributions

As of September 4, 2014, the Teach Great group was the only committee registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission in support of this ballot measure. The following totals are accurate as of the committee's October 27, 2014, report filing. Teach Great called off their campaign in September 2014, so the group had no new campaign finance activity to report after the October filing.[9][10][11][12]

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of December 4, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $1,801,293.00
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $2,355,946.38

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Teach Great
$1,801,293
$1,542,611
Total $1,801,293 $1,542,611

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
Rex Sinquefield $1,600,000
Grow Missouri $326,527

Opposition

Opponents

  • Bloomfield School Board[13]
  • Blue Springs Board of Education[14]
  • Cape Girardeau Community Teachers Association[6]
  • Carthage R-9 School Board[15]
  • Chaffee School Board[16]
  • Columbia Board of Education[17]
  • Columbia Missouri National Education Association[18]
  • Committee in Support of Public Educators
  • Independence School Board[19]
  • Jackson School Board[20]
  • Kearney R-1 School District Board of Education[21]
  • Kirkwood School Board[22]
  • Lake of the Ozarks Board of Education[23]
  • Liberty Public Schools Board of Education[24]
  • Lonedell R-XIV[25]
  • Mexico School Board[26]
  • Missouri State Teachers Association[6]
  • Missouri Retired Teachers Association (MRTA)[27]
  • Missouri Farm Bureau Board of Directors[28]
  • Morgan County R-II Board of Education[29]
  • St. Clair R-XIII Board of Education[30]
  • Stoddard County Public School Retired Employees Association[31]
  • Verona R-7 School Board[32]

Arguments


Protect Our Local Schools (Vote NO on Amendment 3)

Opponents of the measure provided the following arguments against its passage:[6]

  • The measure would require more standardized testing and, in turn, cost taxpayers more money.
  • Under the amendment, the state would tell school districts the best way to evaluate teachers, thus "eroding local control."
  • Some students cannot "get into the A-B range no matter what teachers do." Many students from lower income backgrounds may have other issues besides school performance on which they are focused.
  • Teachers need protections from extreme levels of scrutiny.

The Bloomfield School Board passed a resolution officially opposing the measure in which it stated:

Whereas, Amendment 3 on the November ballot is a state mandate that shifts local control for education decisions away from parents, teachers, administrators and school boards; and

Whereas, Amendment 3 is poorly drafted and a deeply flawed proposal that has many unintended consequences for teachers, administrators and school boards; and

Whereas, Amendment 3 would prevent school boards from hiring, promoting, compensating or dismissing teachers in accordance with board policy; and

Whereas Amendment 3 would force taxpayers to pay for additional standardized tests at a time when our public schools remain significantly underfunded by the state; and

Whereas Amendment 3 significantly changes teacher evaluations away from a tool to improve teacher performance;

Therefore be it resolved, the Bloomfield R-14 Board of Education on the 8th Day of September, 2014, hereby opposed Amendment 3 on the November ballot.[4]

—Bloomfield School Board[13]

Campaign contributions

The Committee in Support of Public Education and No on 3 were the committees registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission as opposing this ballot measure. The following totals were accurate as of the final December 4, 2014, report filing.[33][34][35][36]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Committee in Support of Public Education
$2,355,450.14
$2,275,399.21
No on 3
$496.24
$496.24
Total $2,355,946.38 $2,275,895.45

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
Missouri National Education Association $770,000
National Education Association Campaigns & Elections $750,000
Missouri State Teachers Association, Inc $260,000
American Federation of Teachers $250,000
Missouri State Teachers Assn Legislative Impact Committee $140,100

Media editorial positions

See also: Endorsements of Missouri ballot measures, 2014

Opposition

  • The Southeast Missourian said,
We oppose this amendment for several reasons, including:

1) It's largely opposed by school districts, and the organization behind the amendment, Teachgreat.org, has dropped its campaign for it.

2) The costs associated with this amendment could be significant. Officials estimate the amendment could impose a collective cost on Missouri school districts of $1 billion. This is a lot of money to throw at another standardized test.

3) For those who support local control, which we do, this is a major hurdle. Schools would have to comply with another standardized test and make hiring decisions of teachers based on these results.[4]

Southeast Missourian[37]

  • The Kansas City Star said,
Voters should support the educators by resoundingly defeating this measure. In its attempt to cripple teachers’ unions, the proposed amendment deals a blow to good education and local control of public schools.[4]

Kansas City Star[38]

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said,
The state is already moving toward using more student performance to evaluate teachers, but it is doing so in a collaborative way with educators. Amendment 3 would impose a one-size-fits-all approach that takes away local control and would do little to promote learning. It would be foolish to abruptly change a process that is just being implemented before the schools have any idea if it even works.

Vote No on Amendment 3, which is opposed by educators and business leaders throughout the state.[4]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch[39]

  • The Liberty Tribune said,
More than 170 school boards in Missouri have passed resolutions in opposition to Amendment 3, including the Liberty Public Schools Board of Education.

The amendment was placed on the November ballot through a signature collection, and even its most vocal supporters have fallen silent. Back in September, the now-defunct group Teach Great, financially backed by St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield, announced the end of its campaign for Amendment 3...For a community such as ours, which places so much pride in its educational system, residents must take it upon themselves to stand against Amendment 3’s harmful proposal and vote “no.”[4]

Liberty Tribune[40]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Missouri Constitution & Laws governing the initiative process in Missouri

The supporting group had until May 4, 2014, to turn in at least 157,788 valid signatures. Missouri law states that signatures must be obtained from registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes cast in the most recent governor's election from 6 of the state's 8 congressional districts. Supporters submitted more than 275,900 signatures by the prescribed deadline. According to a July 31, 2014, analysis by the Associated Press, this initiative appeared to have met the signature requirement.[41] The secretary of state's office had until the August 5, 2014 primary election to decide whether the measure should be certified.[42][43]

On August 5, the secretary of state's office announced that this initiative had been certified for the ballot and would be titled "Amendment 3." The number of signatures gathered and certified by congressional district were as follows:[44]

Congressional District 1: Sufficient
Signatures Needed: 27,603
Total Submitted: 55,188
Valid: 39,635

Congressional District 2: Sufficient
Signatures Needed: 32,337
Total Submitted: 50,457
Valid: 36,406

Congressional District 3: Sufficient
Signatures Needed: 28,109
Total Submitted: 39,128
Valid: 33,357

Congressional District 4: Insufficient
Signatures Needed: 26,030
Total Submitted: 472
Valid: 337

Congressional District 5: Sufficient
Signatures Needed: 26,726
Total Submitted: 96,712
Valid: 31,945

Congressional District 6: Sufficient
Signatures Needed: 27,087
Total Submitted: 37,776
Valid: 29,141

Congressional District 7: Sufficient
Signatures Needed: 25,944
Total Submitted: 40,524
Valid: 29,532

Congressional District 8: Insufficient
Signatures Needed: 24,398
Total Submitted: 543
Valid: 538

See also

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Suggest a link

External links

Additional reading

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Missouri Secretary of State, "2014-024," accessed February 24, 2014
  2. National Education Association, "Pay Based on Test Scores?" accessed June 17, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kamehameha Schools" Research and Evaluation Division, "What Do We Know about Teacher Pay-for-Performance?" November 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  5. Missouri Secretary of State, "Full text of Constitutional Amendment to Article IX, Relating to Teacher Performance Evaluation Systems 2014-024," accessed June 17, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Southeast Missourian, "Teacher evaluation initiative positioned for November ballot," June 13, 2014
  7. Maryville Daily Forum, "Campaign for teacher tenure measure called off," September 9, 2014 (dead link)
  8. Teach Great, "Why is the Initiative Necessary?" accessed June 17, 2014
  9. Missouri Ethics Committee, "C121045: Teach Great," accessed September 4, 2014
  10. Missouri Ethics Commission, "COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC EDUCATORS 30 days after election report," May 9, 2014
  11. Columbia Missourian, "Despite lack of support, campaigns for teacher performance amendment continue," October 16, 2014
  12. Missouri Ethics Committee, "C121045: Teachgreat.Org ," accessed October 29, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Daily Statesman, "Bloomfield Board adopts resolution opposing Amendment 3," September 10, 2014
  14. The Examiner, "Blue Springs board opposed Amendment 3," October 25, 2014
  15. Carthage Press, "Board voices opposition to Amendment 3," September 23, 2014
  16. Southeast Missourian, "School districts attempt to thwart Amendment 3 proposal," September 23, 2014
  17. Columbia Daily Tribune, "Columbia school board registers official opposition to Amendment 3," September 18, 2014
  18. Columbia Daily Tribune, "Columbia teachers' union votes unanimously to oppose Amendment 3," September 30, 2014
  19. The Examiner, "Board approves resolution opposing Amendment 3," October 15, 2014 (timed out)
  20. Southeast Missourian, "Jackson School Board passes resolution against Amendment 3," October 15, 2014
  21. Kearney Courier, "School board takes stance against Amendment 3," September 25, 2014
  22. Webster-Kirkwood Times, "Board Opposes Proposed Amendment 3," October 17, 2014
  23. KBIA.org, "Lake of the Ozarks Board of Education announces opposition to Amendment 3," October 2, 2014
  24. Liberty Tribune, "School board takes stand against Amendment 3," October 30, 2014
  25. E-Missourian, "R-XIV Also Amendment 3 Foe," October 25, 2014
  26. Mexico Ledger, "School board opposed Amendment 3," October 22, 2014
  27. Aurora Advertiser, "Retired teachers urge 'no' on Amendment 3," October 24, 2014
  28. South County Mail, "What does the farm bureau think about Amendment 3?" September 28, 2014
  29. Lake News Online, "Morgan County R-II Board of Education unified in opposition of Amendment 3," October 21, 2014
  30. Pacific Missourian, "R-XIII School Board Opposes Amendment 3," September 24, 2014
  31. Daily Statesman, "County's retired teachers openly oppose Amendment 3," September 24, 2014
  32. Aurora Advertiser, "School board opposes Amendment 3," September 28, 2014
  33. Missouri Ethics Committee, "C141258: Committee In Support Of Public Educators," accessed June 17, 2014
  34. Missouri Ethics Commission, "COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC EDUCATORS 30 days after election report," May 9, 2014
  35. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Ballot Measures by Election Search," accessed September 11, 2014
  36. Missouri Ethics Commission, "C141258: Committee In Support Of Public Educators," accessed September 11, 2014
  37. Southeast Missourian, "Editorial: Amendment 3 is short-sighted way to evaluate teachers," October 5, 2014
  38. Kansas City Star, "More harmful initiatives than good ones on Missouri's Nov. 4 ballot," October 3, 2014
  39. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Editorial: Amendment 3 strikes out. Vote no on anti-schools measure," October 14, 2014
  40. Liberty Tribune, "Vote 'no' on education-harming Amendment 3," October 30, 2014
  41. Associated Press, "Early voting initiative may miss Missouri ballot," July 31, 2014
  42. ConnectMidMissouri, "Two petitions meet signature deadline," May 4, 2014
  43. Teach Great, "275,900+ Missouri Voters Sign Petition to Place “Teach Great” Initiative on the November 2014 Ballot," accessed June 17, 2014
  44. Missouri Secretary of State, "Constitutional Amendment Relating to Teacher Performance Evaluation Systems Certified for November Ballot," August 5, 2014