Letter: Opponent says Proctor was wrong on SB 6By Doug Courtney, candidate for House District 20 seat running against WM. PROCTOR
Editor: To highlight some points Rep. Bill Proctor didn't note in a recent letter to the editor. Senate Bill 6 wasn't a minor bill, it was a major revision of the way we finance, run and govern our schools, strongly supported by Proctor. In the face of adamant opposition from teachers, parents, school administrators and school board members he voted for it, not once but twice. He also voted to deny adding amendments that may have resolved the issues he now claims to oppose. Proctor has claimed he could correct problems before they become law in 2014, but by law he can't be in the legislature in 2014.
Other items of interest are that SB 6 reduced teachers to a salary plus commission pay scale based on the quality of their students' work, not their own. The system pitted teachers against teachers for limited local district funds as no new state funding was provided. Local control was taken away; state bureaucrats became final arbiters of school budgets. All courses were required to institute testing developed and paid for by local schools, with no additional state funds.
As for assessing teacher effectiveness, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University reported on Sept. 10, 2010, that basing pay on testing has no impact on student performance. Proctor should have insisted on a similar study before wasting taxpayer's money on speculation about teacher pay.
State Constitutional Amendment 8 addresses a legislature-manufactured crisis. The class size amendment doesn't require strict guidelines, but state statute Representative Proctor voted for does. Amendment 8 transfers the cost of class size compliance from the state to local school districts in the guise of relieving unjust burdens. We've done our homework and did our learning. The answer is new representation that works for our public schools, not for partisan agendas.