Monday, September 27, 2010

Another musing about teacher tenure...

Once upon a time, Administrators ruled their schools. If the children were too noisy, a teacher might get fired. If a teacher was outed as gay, a teacher might get fired. If a teacher spoke up too often in opposition, a teacher might get fired. If a teacher refused to adhere to the principal's pet education-reform, a teacher might get fired.

It seems like these this could never happen today. And your right. Because teachers have due process rights (commonly referred to as tenure.)

Don't pretend for a second that bad teachers can't be fired. They can.

It's about a 2-year process. An Administrator has to build a case to show that the teacher is actually incompetent. One or two bad observations are not enough. Then, 
the teacher gets a chance to receive some professional development and training in order to do better.

If the teacher refuses to try to improve, or does not make progress, then the teacher can be fired.

I think the term "Tenure" has been appropriated and redefined by politicians, reform pundits, and administrators.

They convinced many in the public that teachers with "Tenure" have to rape, steal, and murder before they can be let go.

Back on planet reality, teachers have due-process rights. This means, that:

1. The teacher has a right to know why s/he is being fired,
2. The teacher has a chance to improve, and,
3. The teacher has a right to appeal the decision to a neutral party.


Doesn't that sound more reasonable than "Jobs for life so the boogie-teachers can ruin your children's lives"?

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