Findings about Tennessee attitudes toward teacher tenure and President Barack Obama from the Spring 2011 MTSU Poll found their way into a May 18 piece by Hastings Wyman in the Southern Political Reporter. See:
Tennessee: Haslam, legislature enact conservative agenda
“Another bill would bar collective bargaining between teachers’ unions and school boards. Haslem didn’t initiate it, but endorsed it during its consideration. The bill has passed the Senate and should pass the House any day now. This proposal, says the Nashville observer, “has riled up the Democratic base,” which includes unions and the Tennessee Education Association. Supporting the measure are the Tennessee School Boards Association and the Tennessee County Commissioners Association.
“A poll taken in mid-February by Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) showed that 54% believed the current tenure system “made it hard to get rid of bad teachers” to 29% who believed tenure “protects good teachers from being fired.” However, 41% opposed eliminating collective bargaining between school boards and teachers’ unions to 37% who favored the elimination proposal. (In general, Tennesseans are a pretty conservative bunch; 31% said they would vote for President Obama’s reelection to 48% who said they would vote for “his Republican opponent.”)”