As a bipartisan coalition of business, civic, and nonprofit leaders, we are dedicated to ensuring that every student in Colorado, regardless of personal circumstance, receives a quality education and has equal opportunity to succeed. More than three years ago, a broad-based coalition came together to help pass landmark education reform legislation, Senate Bill 191, which became known as the Great Teacher and Leaders Act. Our current coalition, which includes many of those original organizations and numerous others, is here to reaffirm our commitment to the innovative teacher tenure and evaluation reforms embodied in Senate Bill 191.
We support Senate Bill 191 because it addresses a critical flaw in Colorado’s public education system:
Excellent teachers are not being recruited, rewarded and retained; average teachers are not getting the feedback and support they need to improve; and ineffective teachers are staying in the system, to the detriment of our children. SB-191 addresses these problems by putting strict accountability measure in place, giving teachers and school leaders the power to choose who works in their classrooms, and rewarding educators for effective performance.
These are among the reasons why we vigorously oppose any attempt to weaken or delay these reforms. Unfortunately, the state’s largest teachers union, the Colorado Education Association, is throwing up legal and legislative roadblocks to prevent this import law from moving forward. The union is suing the state and arguing that tenured members have the “right” to be automatically placed in a school, regardless of effectiveness or fit.
The teachers union’s stance is not only bad for students, it is also unpopular: a recent statewide poll showed that 94 percent of Colorado voters agree that principals should be able to hire the teachers who will best meet the needs of their schools’ students and that they should under no circumstance be forced to hire a teacher they do not think is a good fit.
Like most Coloradans, we believe that all decisions about the education system should focus on what will result in the best outcome for students. To do so, we need to ensure that every classroom in Colorado is led by an effective teacher and every school in Colorado is led by an effective principal. We support the Great Teachers and Leaders Act because it makes these goals possible and sends a strong message that Coloradans put children first.
Anschutz Family Foundation
Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry
Colorado Business Roundtable
Colorado Children’s Campaign
Colorado Competitive Council
Democrats for Education Reform
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
Gates Family Foundation
South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
Stand for Children