At their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, the St. Louis County Republican Central Committee voted not to support constitutional amendments 3 and 6.

Amendment 3 reads as follows:

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 proposals performance evaluation requirements.

Opponents had these concerns:

Amendment 3 is a constitutional change that cannot be undone by the legislature. These conditions would continue until such time as another change could be put on the ballot for a public vote.

  • Teacher evaluations based on student test scores on standardized tests will increase the amount of testing of students which reduces the amount of instruction time they have in school. Since ALL teachers would need to be evaluated on student scores this would increase testing exponentially.
  • Student test scores have little correlation to teacher effectiveness. They are a better measure of students’ socio-economic status. Teachers in poorer districts will have lower student scores.
  • A constitutional amendment that dictates the terms of teacher contracts removes local control of personnel decisions. The terms listed in this amendment come right out of the federal department of Education’s Race to the Top Grant program. Missouri did not receive funding for this program but is attempting to implement all the reforms required by grant recipients without any funding.

 

Amendment 6 reads as follows:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to permit voting in person or by mail for a period of six business days prior to and including the Wednesday before the election day in general elections, but only if the legislature and the governor appropriate and disburse funds to pay for the increased costs of such voting? State governmental entities estimated startup costs of about $2 million and costs to reimburse local election authorities of at least $100,000 per election. Local election authorities estimated higher reimbursable costs per election. Those costs will depend on the compensation, staffing, and, planning decisions of election authorities with the total costs being unknown.

The Central Committee voiced concerns about the added expense to taxpayers, added complication to the voting process and opportunity for fraud.

The St. Louis County Republican Central committee is made up on man and one woman elected in each township in St. Louis County.

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