NEA President Dennis Van Roekel strongly supported the legal action of the Colorado Education Association against SB 191, one of the worst bills of its kind in the nation. It was written in 2010 by State Senator Michael Johnston, ex-TFA. Fully 50% of teachers’ evaluations are tied to test scores.

I was in Denver the day the law passed in the Senate. Johnston and I were supposed to have a lunch debate before about 60 or so local leaders. He was late. We waited and waited. Finally, I gave my talk. As soon as I finished, young Master Michael Johnston walked in, safe from hearing anything I might say, and proceeded to give a speech praising his bill and saying it would produce great schools, great principals, and great teachers. He was very pleased with what he had done.

Here is Van Roekel’s statement:


WASHINGTON—The following is a statement from NEA President Dennis Van Roekel on SB 191 lawsuit in Colorado:

“The National Education Association supports the efforts of Colorado educators in their fight to keep quality teachers in the classroom and preserve the stability of our students’ learning environment. Legislation should be used to ensure that every public school student has a quality teacher in the classroom. It should not drive out great educators without the benefit of a rigorous evaluation system. The way SB 191 has been implemented by the Denver School District has resulted in the removal of more than a hundred teachers without a hearing or cause. The lawsuit brought by Denver Classroom Teachers Association and the Colorado Education Association challenges firing those teachers without cause. The notion that a veteran quality teacher can be removed from the classroom without due process not only subverts the essence of the law but hurts our students.”