The Thinker’s Picks for Election Day

Here are my thoughts on the Amendments we will see on Tuesday’s election ballot. I am only covering the Amendments given several factors, however I will say that generally speaking the Republicans in the area have done better at representing us than Democrats – but that’s all I have to say about that.

Here goes:

Amendment 2: I struggle with this one, but come down on the side of voting no. Basically what this Amendment will do is allow courts to consider previous charges of those who are on trial for sexual crimes. Now, on it’s face it is something I agree with – the fact is that sexual predators tend to repeat crimes and tend to have a pattern. However, the first issue I see is that the previous charge that can be considered doesn’t have to be one that the defendant was actually found guilty of… it can be a charge he was found not guilty of or even a charge that was dropped. I get that the guilty can get away with crimes, especially sex crimes. However, I can’t bring myself to the point that my conscience allows me to okay somebody being judged by a jury or judge for a crime he wasn’t found guilty of – that’s a real reach for me and I’m not okay with it. Further – sex crimes are what is at hand right now. However, I always ask myself, “will this be it?” The biggest concern I have is that in five years we will have lawmakers and activists try and do this same thing for other, less nefarious crimes, and say, “Well, we did it for sexual predators, why not do it for [drug dealers, those who assault others, thieves, etc.].” I will openly say I’m an advocate for avoiding the slippery slope. Now, I’ll say ahead of time, I’m sure this issue will win handily because of the emotion attached to it, but I do hope that those who read this will at least give my point of view reasonable consideration.

Amendment 3: I’ll be straight that in a situation where employees are going to be judged on merit, we need to vote for just that. Voting yes on Amendment 3 will do that. It will place teachers in the same boat as most of the rest of the non-union world; a boat where you keep your job and get promoted based on performance. It will put in place specific reasons they can be terminated (for failure to produce good results, basically). And it will disallow teachers to change this law through collective bargaining with their union. The fact is that if we don’t make clear our children are the priority, teacher unions will continue to think they have the upper hand with our children. These same unions often think as Al Shanker does; Shanker was a longtime president of the second largest teachers union in the nation. Along with openly admitting many teachers are highly underqualified, he was once quoted as saying the following: “When schoolchildren start paying their union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of the schoolchildren.” I am passionate, yes, but time and again we can find issue and example – one after another – of reasons our schools are failing to actually teach our kids. This is a vote in which we can say, “Yes”, teach our kids. Again, I believethis is going to fail – after all, the teachers unions are some of the most powerful unions in the nation, and they are opposed to this idea. But one can hope, no?

Amendment 6: Take note, my friends, because I agree with Democrat Sec. of State Jason Kander – vote no. We agree for different reasons, but none the less, we agree. Amendment 6 would allow early voting for no other reason than you want to. In my mind, not cool. It’s quite simple: with such mass amounts of voter fraud going on around the country (easily found all over the internet), the last thing we need is more ways to fraudulently vote. It’s that simple.

Amendment 10: On this Amendment I’m conflicted. This Amendment restricts what the Governor of Missouri can and can’t do with funds the legislature passes, limits his ability to spend money not yet authorized, and limits him from increasing or decreasing line item costs. I’m conflicted because I see two sides. I see the side that says Governor Nixon regularly withholds/threatens to withhold funds for education for political purposes. For that reason I would vote yes. However, I always look at the opposite – what happens if in the future the legislature tries to spend (let’s say) $387,000 on rabbit massages, and a future Governor wants to withhold those funds… for that reason I would vote no. What I think is that each person needs to do their own research (here and here) on this particular Amendment and make their own decision. However, I would personally vote no simply because a yes vote would be due to Jay Nixon – a particular individual – and not the concept itself.

And those, my friends, are the Thinker’s picks for November 4th.

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2 thoughts on “The Thinker’s Picks for Election Day

  1. I have to disagree on Amendment 3 the way it currently stands. The Amendment doesn’t leave any allowance for special education teachers, teachers of at-risk students or other student groups who will never be able to score well on standardized tests (if you’re not familiar with alternative schools look into it, they’re excellent organizations). I would like to see an amendment that gives the ability to award raises, give demotion, or even termination to the district administrators, not to a state agency. I’d like to see an amendment that measures teachers’ merit by individual student progress, not by state average. If a student was severely below grade level and is now scoring slightly below average, that teacher has made incredible progress and the student has made great gains. The teacher should be given recognition, not threat of a pay cut. So while I would like to see something LIKE Amendment 3 pass, this amendment in its current form is not the answer.

  2. Regarding amendment three, I have a few questions. Do you know who will decide what tests to use? Will it be local school boards, or the state department of education? Will there be test to evaluate teachers of non-academic subjects, like wood shop or P.E.? How much will these tests cost? How often will they be given? While the tests themselves be evaluated for accuracy and validity? Will the hiring and firing of teachers be done based on the scores of their students in just one year, or will it be based on improvement shown over the previous year? Last, where will the replacement teachers come from for the experienced teachers who lose their jobs due to low student test scores? How will we ensure that the replacement teachers will produce better test scores?

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