Teachers, parents weigh-in on Amendment 3 - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Teachers, parents weigh-in on Amendment 3

Some say Amendment 3 is unfair to teachers, while others say it keeps them accountable. Some say Amendment 3 is unfair to teachers, while others say it keeps them accountable.
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

Could standardized test results soon determine Missouri teachers' salaries?

It's an issue about which many people are talking, but the discussion will end on Nov. 4 when Missouri voters make the final decision on Amendment 3.

Some say it's unfair to teachers, while others say it keeps them accountable.

Poplar Bluff Fifth-Grade Science Teacher Phil Murray said tests can be a helpful teaching tool in the classroom, but when it comes to standardized testing determining teacher's salary, that's a whole other issue.

"[We] try to use our testing as a means of moving kids along. When you take a test at the end of the year that you don't get the results until the next year, that doesn't help you and it doesn't help this kids,” Murray said.

Murray called Amendment 3 a scary possibility for teachers, but, he said, it's less about them and more about the kids.

“People send their kids to school to be taught, to be nurtured, to be educated, they don't send them here to be test-takers. So, what would happen is, I believe, that we would become so focused on these tests that we forget about what's most important and that's the kids,” Murray said.

Daycare Owner and Grandmother Annie Maddox agrees.

“They can only teach it, they cannot make a child learn it,” Maddox said.

Every child is different. That's part of why, she said, measuring teachers' success on test scores is flawed.

“As far as my grandkids, if they don't make the grade, it's not the teachers fault, it's their fault,” Maddox said.

Other parents, like Marica Jones, say the amendment is fair to teachers.

“If you're doing good teaching, you should have no worries,” Jones said.

Some parents are still undecided.

“Teachers should be evaluated based on the performance of the classroom, on the other hand, I feel like some people who would be excellent teachers may chose a difference field due to the way the circumstances are now,” Tammie Bumpus said.

But, no matter which way you look at it, Murray said remember on Election Day that it all comes down to what's best for the students.

“Kids are kids, and so we have to look at it that way, whether they're good test takers or not good test takers, if those are the things you're focusing on, then you're focusing on the wrong things,” Murray said.

If Amendment 3 passes, Missouri would be the first state to base teachers' pay on students' test scores.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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