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Colorado Education Reform Legislation: Rasmussen Finds 47% In Agreement With Proposed Tenure Rules

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A new Rasmussen Reports survey from Colorado paints a picture of a state divided with respects to controversial education legislation currently before the State Senate.

The legislation, introduced by former school principal and teacher Michael Johnston of Denver, would change metrics for teacher evaluation and allow teachers to be stripped of tenure if their students continuously fail to meet certain performance standards.

The legislation will be a key component of Colorado's bid to win up to $175 million in federal funding as part of round 2 of the Department of Education's "Race To The Top" competition.

Colorado finished 14th of 16 applicants in the first round of 'Race to the Top.'

According to Rasmussen's survey, which was conducted on April 14 and has a margin for error of 4.5%, 47% of likely Colorado voters agree that tenure should be contingent on student performance. 42% said tenure should be determined by other factors like principal evaluations.

Support for the bill's changes to tenure policy was largely divided on party lines, with 64% of Republicans backing the measure. 54% of Democrats opposed the change despite the fact that the bill was introduced by a Democrat, and has the backing of Democratic Governor Bill Ritter.

The Colorado Education Association--the state's teachers union--has come out against the bill.