This legislative session is already shaping up to be a doozy with liberals hoping to chip away at S.B. 191, or the teacher tenure bill, for those of you who have not memorized all the bill numbers. The bill was considered a landmark piece of legislation in Colorado in 2010 that would help ensure Colorado’s kids had high-quality teachers in the classroom.
Previously, teachers practically were promised a job for life, regardless of their performance in the classroom.
The previous law practically promised teachers a job for life, regardless of classroom performance. When S.B. 191 passed in 2010, all Republicans voted for it, and many Democrats put aside allegiances to teachers unions to approve the measure.
Fast forward six years and unions are itching to scrap this legislation. The reason is obvious – when teachers are evaluated and, thus, held accountable for their performance, it undermines the authority of the teachers union, which claims it will protect teachers from firing. As we all saw in “Waiting for Superman”, that sometimes means protecting abysmally bad teachers who get paid to do nothing because they are unfit to teach.
As an op-ed that ran in the Denver Post over the weekend noted:
“Educators deserve to be treated like professionals through meaningful performance evaluations, taxpayers deserve accountability in how their education dollars are spent, and every child in Colorado deserves to be taught by a truly effective teacher. A move away from SB 191’s critical reforms is a move away from these laudable goals.”
With unions emboldened by recent electoral wins, it’s natural that they would come after such a meaningful change to education. But, that’s exactly why legislators and Coloradans should just say no.