MASL Opposes Constitutional Amendment 3 on Missouri's November Ballot
At its August meeting, MASL's board unanimously voted in favor of joining the Protect Our Local Schools Coalition
, organized in response to proposed Constitutional Amendment 3 on the ballot in Missouri this November. Amendment 3 would transform Missouri's educational culture into one oriented towards high-stakes testing, and proposes to:
- Take local control of schools away from parents, teachers and school districts and hand it to legislators in Jefferson City;
- Force taxpayers to pay for costly government-mandated standardized tests even though school funding is already a problem; and
- Force teachers to teach to a test rather than focus on actual instruction and learning.
If passed, the amendment would also dictate that teacher promotions, firings and pay raises be determined by evaluation standards. These standards would need to be developed, debated, agreed upon and adopted by public school districts by July 2015—a mere seven months to create complete shift in practice for every school in the state. Additionally, the measure would also eliminate teacher tenure and limit teaching contracts to three years.
The last thing Missouri’s students need is teachers teaching to even more standardized tests out of fear for job security. MASL and numerous other Missouri educator groups know Amendment 3 would significantly damage the quality of education students receive in the classroom. Our students deserve better than the one-size-fits-all approach Amendment 3 offers. They deserve an environment in which their educators feel empowered to do whatever it takes to meet their individual needs--not an environment in which a teacher has to weigh doing what’s best for their students against the cost of a negative job performance evaluation.
Amendment 3 is a serious threat to our students’ achievement, our colleagues’ ability to teach to their full potential, and the quality of Missouri’s entire educational system. MASL is proud to stand with MSTA, MNEA, MASA, MOPTA, MASSP, MAESP, MSBA, AFT, AFLCIO, and many other organizations in opposition to this measure.
What Can You Do?
Advocate to and educate others—on your own time and using your own resources, not your school’s or districts. As recipients of taxpayer dollars educators are not able to use district websites, social media, email, phones, or copy/print resources to advocate for or against this measure.
Reach out to family, friends, neighbors and colleagues—just a few each week. Share your personal stories of helping students and colleagues succeed to demonstrate the importance of preserving an educational environment in which educators have every opportunity to make an impact on students. Be clear that a “no” vote on Amendment 3 is vital to ensuring this environment can exist for all students in Missouri.
Click here to learn more about the issue.
Click here for information on advocating on Amendment 3 as an educator, including a list of Do’s and Don’ts that helps you navigate the waters and steer clear of any potential conflicts with employers/coworkers.
Click here for information on messaging.
Click here for information on how to get involved with the Coalition or donate.
Protect Our Local Schools Contact Points
Twitter (Official hashtag is #MONoOn3)