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Letter: Not much right about Amendment 3, which would impose testing-based teacher evaluations in state

To the Editor

There are so many things wrong about state Amendment 3, this permanent change to our state Constitution.
• Financially, the amendment will force school districts to spend a lot of time, effort and money to develop something that is not necessary (new evaluations for teachers based upon assessment exams).
• Professionally, the amendment will force teachers and administrators into a adversarial relationship.  This is something that will impact students, parents, communities and can tear apart the good working relationship that schools have between administration and faculty.  Many teachers will leave the rural areas that have to struggle financially already and move to the more affluent school districts that can afford to create new evaluation and assessment instruments.
• Students are already being appropriately challenged in their education.  There is no need to increase the stress about their future exam and education.
• Permanent changes to the Missouri Constitution are almost impossible to reverse.  Why should a small group of paid petition collectors (paid by Rex Sinquefield, a very wealthy businessman with an agenda against public education) cause this change to the Constitution?
They were deceptive in how they presented their petition: “Would you please sign this petition to improve the schools of Missouri?”  and when asked how this would happen, most would hem and haw about better testing and forcing teachers to be more accountable.
There was not much information given to the signers of the petitions.  And when asked where the clipboard holders lived, they were evasive.  Some lived out of state and had “no horse in this race.”
Missouri is the “Show-Me State” and not the “Force Me State.”  Please show your community leadership by composing a powerful and effective editorial that will help stop Amendment 3 at the election in November.  Many other newspapers in Missouri are doing so.
No matter what political side of the fence people are on, Amendment 3 is just wrong for Missouri and our community.
Thank You for helping.

– William Dooley
Retired science teacher and administrator, current eMINTS Education Technology Specialist
Richmond Public Schools

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