Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Challenging the union?

One day after reading this story in the Denver Post about the inability of the state of Colorado to fire teachers, my eyes about jumped out of my head to see this headline:

Colorado Renews Teacher Tenure Debate

A bill is being introduced in the Colorado state legislature that would tie teacher tenure with student performance. I read that and thought, "really? - what must the union be saying?" Well, they aren't happy. But then I thought, "What's the catch?"

Colorado is in the running for federal Race to the Top education grants being offered to states with the most ambitious education reforms. Colorado could receive up to $175 million.

Many education experts believe Johnston's bill gives Colorado a better chance at winning the money in the second round.

Tennessee and Delaware, two states that won $600 million in the Race to the Top's first round, reworked their laws to tie student academic growth to teacher tenure. In Colorado, teachers effectively get tenure after three years.

State Education Commissioner Dwight Jones, in an op-ed piece for The Denver Post, said he believes Johnston's bill would "boost our chances in the second round."

The key to challenging teacher tenure has been discovered: make federal money contingent upon it.

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