What are the teachers worried about, to the point where they are risking not only their jobs, but their reputations? A host of popular but troubling policies -- and underlying assumptions -- that might finally get the in-depth public discussion that has been too long neglected.
Without the minimal protection of tenure, the teaching profession will become even more unattractive to the very cohort of bright, young students that are so desperately needed in the future to educate our children.
Just as she did during the 2011 session, Sen. Jane Cunningham is trying to bring an end to teacher tenure. Now thanks to the redistricting commission appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon, a threat has been made to Sen. Cunningham's tenure.
Would you believe that tomorrow we are expected to put aside our own important work and honor teachers? That's right, we're supposed to drop everything and pay homage to those lazy, overpaid, 'we've-got-tenure-and-you-don't' incompetents.
Eliminating "tenure" may be politically popular, but eroding due process and the 'just cause' standard creates an environment where even good teachers can be fired just 'cause it serves some other interest.
In principle, all teachers should have academic freedom regardless of tenure status. But in the real world of education, the exercise of such freedom depends in large part on tenure. Thus students need teachers with tenure.
Except for that tornado experience, which has changed us and our schools forever, we are the same teachers who have been here year after year, doing the same thing that brought us into education -- helping children.