Hannibal School District not wanting changes to teacher tenure - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Hannibal School District not wanting changes to teacher tenure



After legislation struck down a reform on how teachers are evaluated, proponents say they would vow to have another vote before the legislative session ends. But is reform what local school districts want? 

Missouri Association of School Administrators asked lawmakers to make considerable changes to the bill before it would be passed.  After speaking with both teachers and administrators at the Hannibal School District, they don't want anything to change.  The biggest issue in the education reform bill is tying student performance to teacher tenure, which is something teachers like Tiffany Brewer think isn't a full assessment of their work.

"I don't personally think that that's fair. You can't compare apples to oranges. Maybe she has a handful of IEP students and the other has a class of more gifted students, that's not fair to compare those two teachers test results. That's not a true showing of what that teacher can do," she said.  

In Missouri, teachers who've been in the same position for five consecutive years receive tenure at the beginning of their sixth year, but proponents of reform say it shouldn't be automatic.  The proposed legislation calls for school districts to create an evaluation system for teachers.  One third of that evaluation would come from yearly achievement tests...the rest would be based on student performance in the classroom, but Hannibal Superintendent Jill Janes says those are tough qualities to gauge. 

"Also every student is different, every classroom is different. And so it just makes it very muddy when you start tying teacher evaluation back with student achievement," she said.  

But that isn't to say teachers aren't assessed.  Brewer said she's been evaluated numerous times and doesn't think anything needs to change. 
"You get observed by an administrator and sometimes things happen. And I think it takes into consideration that we are people too. We can make mistakes and it's kind of like a second chance," Brewer said.  

Proponents of the bill said once a teacher gets tenure, it makes it difficult for the district to fire him or her even if they don't meet expectations.  However Janes said it's not difficult and if a teacher doesn't do their job they can be fired. 


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