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:On the ballot
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
Amendment 3
Amendment 6
Amendment 10
EndorsementsFull text
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Local measures
A Missouri Teacher Performance Evaluation, Amendment 3 is on the November 4, 2014 election ballot in the state of Missouri as an initiated constitutional amendment. If approved by voters, this measure would implement teacher performance evaluations that would be used to determine whether a teacher should be dismissed, retained, demoted or promoted. It would also prevent teachers from collectively bargaining over the terms of these evaluations.[1]

If approved, the measure would add six subsections to Section 3 of Article IX of the Missouri Constitution.[1]

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) warns 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
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIII

Ballot title

The official ballot text reads as follows:[1]

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?

[4]

Constitutional changes

If approved, the measure would add six subsections, (d) through (i) inclusively, to Section 3 of Article IX of the Missouri Constitution. The new sections would 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. The measure will still be put before voters; however, there will not be a group actively campaigning for a "yes" vote.[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 is running the Teach Great campaign, provides 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.[4]

—Teach Great, [8]

Campaign contributions

As of September 4, 2014, the Teach Great group is 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 August 4, 2014, report filing.[9][10]

Total campaign cash Campaign Finance Ballotpedia.png
as of September 4, 2014
Category:Ballot measure endorsements Support: $1,801,293
Circle thumbs down.png Opposition: $89,325

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Teach Great
$1,801,293
$1,373,894
Total $1,801,293 $1,373,894

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
Rex Sinquefield $1,600,000
Grow Missouri $95,000

Opposition

Opponents

  • Committee in Support of Public Educators
  • Cape Girardeau Community Teachers Association[6]
  • Missouri State Teachers Association[6]
  • Bloomfield School Board[11]

Arguments

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

  • The measure will 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, [11]

Campaign contributions

As of September 11, 2014, the Committee in Support of Public Educators is the only committee registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission for this ballot measure. The following totals are accurate as of the committee's July 15, 2014, report filing.[12][13][14][15]

PAC info:

PAC Amount raised Amount spent
Committee in Support of Public Educators
$89,325
$75,003
Total $89,325 $75,003

Top contributors:

Donor Amount
Missouri National Education Association $20,000
Missouri Legislative Impact Committee $16,000

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 2012 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 July 31, 2014, analysis by the Associated Press, this initiative appears to have met the signature requirement.[16] The secretary of state's office has until the August 5, 2014 primary election to decide whether the measure should be certified.[17][18]

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 are as follows:[19]

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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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 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
  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. 11.0 11.1 The Daily Statesman, "Bloomfield Board adopts resolution opposing Amendment 3," September 10, 2014
  12. Missouri Ethics Committee, "C141258: Committee In Support Of Public Educators," accessed June 17, 2014
  13. Missouri Ethics Commission, "COMMITTEE IN SUPPORT OF PUBLIC EDUCATORS 30 days after election report," May 9, 2014
  14. Missouri Ethics Commission, "Ballot Measures by Election Search," accessed September 11, 2014
  15. Missouri Ethics Commission, "C141258: Committee In Support Of Public Educators," accessed September 11, 2014
  16. Associated Press, "Early voting initiative may miss Missouri ballot," July 31, 2014
  17. ConnectMidMissouri, "Two petitions meet signature deadline," May 4, 2014
  18. Teach Great, "275,900+ Missouri Voters Sign Petition to Place “Teach Great” Initiative on the November 2014 Ballot," accessed June 17, 2014
  19. Missouri Secretary of State, "Constitutional Amendment Relating to Teacher Performance Evaluation Systems Certified for November Ballot," August 5, 2014