By Brad Miller
What is the story behind the State Board of Education's decision to agree to allow the teachers' unions additional time to plan their legal attack on SB191? Most close observers have concluded that the unions have wanted to delay the filing until after the elections in order not to disrupt the feel-good stories that must be told in support of Amendment 66. But there is another side to the story.
The extension gives life to the educator evaluation law that is being rolled out across 178 Colorado districts right now. That momentum is the best defense against union meddling. Had the union dropped the lawsuit at the end of August it would have likely included an injunction against the educator evaluation law, and stopped the rollout in its tracks.
The political advantage the unions sought in the extension is illusory. The very threat of a suit against the educator evaluation law shows their true position: to the detriment of highly qualified teachers everywhere, the union seeks to keep those few who do not belong, still in the classroom.
This is one more example of how the teachers union has sought to impede needed education transformation and in so doing they undermine the root argument supporters are using for amendment 66.
On one hand the union, one of the largest pro-66 funders, argues that the nearly one billion dollar tax increase will support reforms. On the other hand they seek to gut the basis of that reform--an educator evaluation law designed to promote a highly qualified teacher in every classroom.
This is a stinging indictment of the legacy K-12 government education effort. One of the most far reaching influencers of the decades-in-place system--the teachers union--wants it both ways. More money, and no honest accountability.