The Kansas City Star reports that State Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro collaborated with anti-public education forces to draft legislation to eliminate teacher tenure. Emails obtained through the state’s Sunshine Law revealed the commissioner’s relationship with the group.

The group is associated with Rex Singuefeld, a local hedge fund manager who co-founded a firm that manages more than $310 billion in assets. He is president of the Show-Me Institute, a public policy research organization that promotes libertarian, conservative, and free-market ideas.

If the proposed bill should pass, teacher retention would depend on student test scores. The bill would require the creation of many new tests. When asked to estimate the additional costs, the commissioner declined.

The article says:

“The commissioner is already being pulled in several directions over her recommendations to keep Kansas City Public Schools unaccredited and bring in the charter-school-supporting consulting agency CEE-Trust to develop a plan for the future of the district.

“The emails show Nicastro was trading information with Kate Casas, the state policy director for the Children’s Education Council of Missouri, which was developing the ballot initiative petition. It aims to give voters the chance to take away teacher tenure and require schools to use student performance data in determining teacher pay and promotions.”

The Department routinely advises legislators and lobbyists about pending legislation, but the commissioner seems to have been directly involved in writing legislative language that will hurt teachers. This is far from routine.

Read more here: