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Chris Geden, Community Outreach Director, Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri
I was disgusted the other day when the whole state of Missouri fixed its attention on Albert Pujols’ decision to leave the Saint Louis Cardinals. I was disgusted because at the same the twitterverse, ESPN, StLToday.com, and a dozen or more other media were focused on Albert’s decision, I was focused on the fact that Missouri Statutes still require indefinite contracts and Last In First Out policies for Missouri’s teachers.
I realized that while Missouri was busy discussing the difference between Albert’s $254 million contract with the Angels and whatever the Cardinals offered him, our highest quality teachers don’t get to negotiate a higher salary as an incentive to go to and remain in a high needs school (much like Albert did with the Angels).
I also felt my blood pressure rising when Albert’s decision reminded me of the unfair hiring practices in our public schools. Not only do our schools’ leaders not get to say how much they are going to pay a teacher, they don’t even get to choose who their teachers are. While Albert’s agents and the team managers were busily negotiating his new contract, many of Missouri’s students were sitting in classrooms where the antiquated last in first out policies had left them with an inferior teacher. (Learn more about Last In First Out here)
I hope that after reading this, you too think that the fact we put more stock in the quality of our baseball players than we do in the quality of our teacher is unacceptable and will act on it by signing up here to learn how to help CEAM educate all Missourians about fixing this broken system.
Oh, and for the record, I, like most people, am sorry to see Albert leave for Anaheim, but wish him well on the next phase of his career.