The Stand for Children Initiative petition threatens the progress our schools have made by disrupting positive developments that are in place. A number of organizations and individuals have begin to speak against the petition.
Opponents now include: Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville, the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators' Association, the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association, the Massachusetts Reading Association, the Massachusetts Association of College and University Reading Educators, the Massachusetts School Library Association, the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies and the Massachusetts Administrators for Special Education.
Here's a summary of what the STAND petition would do if enacted by voters this November:
- The SFC initiative would change current law so that an experienced teacher who loses his or her job because of a school closing, layoff, or program/position cut would lose all rights to another job in the district.
- Under the proposed initiative, the displaced teacher could enter a new school only if the principal in the new school "agree(s) to the hiring and assignment." The above is true even for teachers with outstanding track records and multiple years of strong evaluations.
- The initiative would change current state law so that, in cases of layoffs or program/budget cuts, decisions about which teachers go and stay would be primarily determined by evaluation ratings.
- This change would come at a time when the state is rolling out brand-new and untested teacher evaluation regulations. For this and other reasons, Mass. Secretary of Education Paul Reville has said the ballot initiative "is not well timed" and "would not be helpful to our efforts to improve evaluation and execute a variety of other educational reforms."
- Under the SFC initiative, one not-quite-perfect evaluation -- which the teacher has no right to challenge -- could cost an experienced, high-quality teacher his or her job in cases of staff reductions or school reorganizations.
- The initiative would severely limit teacher voice in the design of evaluation systems.