I applaud the efforts of Missouri State House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee Chairman Scott Dieckhaus to gut tenure for the state's 522 school districts and the obviously complacent 70,000+ teachers in their employ.
If bill HB628 becomes law, the benefit of tenure will be no more. Mr Dieckhaus apparently believes that tenure makes teachers lazy and that his proposed bill will force them to compete both for salary and multi-year contracts. It sounds a little like a TV game show.
"All of you who teach freshman Biology, COME ON DOWN!!!"
Mr. Dieckhaus is unquestionably an expert on this matter since he was a high school teacher. According to his biography, he taught three years at Hermann High School and one year at St. Claire High School. The fact he never earned tenure -- that takes five years of service in the same school district -- is irrelevant.
And not only was he in the trenches for four years, he was also named to Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 2003, 2004 and 2005 which everyone knows is a highly selective organization usually reserved for those who bother to respond to their solicitations.
Obviously, this legislator knows his stuff and we should not dismiss him just because his teaching experience is with small, heavily Caucasian school districts where there is a miniscule minority population. It's not important that Hermann High School has a 1.4% minority population and St. Claire High School has only 4% compared to Cape Girardeau Central with almost 28% or St. Louis City were Caucasians are the minority at 14%.
It doesn't matter if you are white, black, Hispanic, Pacific Islander or Asian, students should all learn at the same speed. Everyone knows that.
And if they don't, then it is obviously the teacher's fault. Since the vast majority of teachers who have earned tenure immediately become complacent lard-butts, the only way to get them to do the quality job the taxpayers expect from them is to do away with tenure.
Kudos to Mr. Dieckhaus for this smart observation and the gumption to do something about it.
However, I do think he is not going far enough ditching tenure and paying teachers for performance. That is just the tip of the educational iceberg. If we want to reel in the exploding costs of elementary and secondary education in our state and motivate the inner-Einsteins that are dormant within every child, we need to take even more action.
For instance, Mr. Dieckhaus should consider legislation regarding the parents. They too should be held responsible for nurturing their children to be all they can be. It is up to them to make sure that their child does his or hers homework at night and that they are able to assist their child on every project and assignment given by the teachers.
And if they don't, then the state of Missouri should not ignore this obvious lack of parenting. If a teacher identifies deficient parents, then the state should step in and put those children in state-run residences operated by staff trained to get the most out of every boy and girl.
I also think we should evaluate the compensation package for all elementary and secondary school coaches in the state. A coach should only be paid if his or hers team wins their game. We taxpayers should not have to pay for losers.
I think this is fair. After all, every child has the latent athletic skill of Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods inside of them just waiting to be coached into existence. That's why I suck at basketball. It has nothing to do with the fact I can't run and dribble a basketball at the same time, but because I wasn't coached properly in my youth.