Via The Hare-Dispatch, Illinois Statehouse News has a story about the school “reform” bill signed into law yesterday by Three County Quinn. Although this has been hailed as HISTORIC! LANDMARK! GROUNDBREAKING!, the muted reactions in this story told a different story. For one thing, the impact of these incredibly amazing “reforms” won’t be felt for years—possibly until school year 2016 in some cases.
Here’s Joe Vermeire of the RICO Regional Office of Education:
“[Vermeire] said he believes the law will improve the public’s perception of teacher tenure . . .”
That’s what I was thinking too, that this “reform” will mostly be about “perception” and window dressing in order to appease the taxpayers and parents. This will be just more smoke and mirrors with very little change—the Illinois way!
Here’s Vermeire again about teacher tenure being based on evaluations rather than seniority:
“That decision has to based upon teacher performance and if those evaluations are done properly, then I guess we’re looking out for the betterment of students, which is what we really should be about.”
Notice the qualifiers in that statement:
1. “if” those evaluations are done properly. “If” not expect a lot of lawsuits from the unions.
2. “I guess” we’re looking out for the students rather than the teacher unions, which isn’t exactly the same as saying it “will”,
3. which is what they “should” be about, rather than whatever they are about now.
Rock Island-Milan superintendent Mike Oberhaus gives us the bottom line that predicts a whole lot of weasel-work will be going on outside of public view:
“We await further definition from the state board and we will be working with our collective bargaining units to make sure we properly put in the requirements of (the new law).”
You don’t have to have much imagination to know that when the state board and the unions get involved behind closed doors, the “new law” will look a lot like the status quo.
Once again, it’s worth noting that anytime some liberal cause passes into law—like massive tax hikes and culture war stuff like abolition of the death penalty and civil unions, the lag time is minimal. With the really important stuff that needs to be done but they don’t want to do, like teacher “reform”, the lag time is in years, not months or days or immediately.