Steven,If administrators follow policy regardless of the length of
time taught, a poor teacher can be fired in 120 days, or 3/4 of a school year.
You may think that an administrator should be able to fire them on the spot. I
believe that a teacher deserves due process. If you have a good administrator,
bad teachers never make it past their first year, and good teachers who start to
slide are put into remediation at the first sign of problems. The key is the
administrator. If you make teachers at will employees, good luck finding anyone
to take the job. A disagreement with your administrator today could lead to
your termination tomorrow. I don't think that kind of absolute power is in
anyone's best interest.
@Fred,The High school example was at Alta High and the middle school
was Joel P. Jensen. Those are both Utah schools. While it isn't called
tenure the boondoggle of rules established protect the rights of the teachers
over those of the students.It is not very hard for most parents to
come up with additional examples. There are plenty of inept teachers in the
state that would be gotten rid of had the red tape been removed.
Who are the ones in charge of our schools?Not "Bad
Steven Jarvis,Your examples may be real but they did not happen in
Utah. Utah has no tenure, and under current Utah statute due process need not
exceed 120 days for a career teacher (a teacher with more than three years of
satisfactory evaluations. If it took three years to get rid of a poor teacher,
then shame on the administrator.Most of these "examples"
come because of poor or weak administrators who are unable or unwilling to do
their job. It is always easy especially in today's world to blame the evil
union. Most states have laws very similar to Utah. There are very very few
states where an incompetent teacher can survive in their job for years and no
one can do anything about it.
@Steve Cottrel,There are many teachers who are ineffective and have
caused damage to student's educational outcomes. One such teacher I subbed
quite regularly for stayed in her job only due to tenure. She had developed
severe medical problems and may have at one time been effective, but was now
unable to manage daily academic functions. However, the children's rights
in her classroom to a free and appropriate education were being denied by
tenure. There were MANY problems that this teacher staying employed caused.Then there was another guy who I knew outside of the profession. It
took three years to prove due process had happened to get him fired from his
Science job. Had he just switched schools each year he could have kept his job
playing chess and not actually teaching. He never should have stepped in the
classroom. Once he did three years of students were denied their rights under
FAPE.This case has merits and will likely see replication in other
states. Tenure and other procedures in place to protect all teachers deny
students their rights when a teacher who is poor and can't be helped
remains in the classroom.
Of every dollar spent on education.How much of it filters into the
Having seen tenure in action and now seeing Detroit Public Schools with less
tenure, I have to agree tenure is bad and should be ended.I am not
convinced that it clearly breaks any constitutional rules or that the courts are
where it should be overturned. This is an issues that should be changed by
legislative and not judicial action.
Every teacher reports to a principal, superintendent, board. Tenure for most
teachers simply means that the district has to have just cause before firing.
Just cause means that they have to be non-performing in some way or another.
So, if a district has a bad teacher, then the admin/board need to do their jobs.
In our state, a teacher is treated as an at-will employee for the first 3
years. Afterwards, they are granted "tenure." A district
can also lay off a teacher for a district need. In our district, an experienced
and capable science teacher was laid off, in favor of the newer, lower-paid
teacher for the reason that the board liked the course transcript of the younger
teacher better. One more thing, both Republicans and Democrats are
equally antagonistic towards teachers. Obama has never, ever, been a friend of
teachers. He did not show up, nor did he say a word during the protests in
Madison. Those who portray teachers as a pampered and privileged
class are simply engaging in propaganda. Whether they do so in ignorance or
with full intent to deceive is for others to defend or decide.
Teachers in Utah also do not have tenure--at any time.
"It would be very scary to me, if this lawsuit succeeds, to think that I
might not have a job next year, not for anything I'd done in the classroom,
but because my principal didn't like me, or my clothing, or something
I'd said." It would be a shock to educators to wake up and
find that they are being treated like an employee that reports to a supervisor,
just like the rest of us!
MountanmanHayden, IDContact your local teacher's
union for details!===Utah does not have Unions.
Teacher competence is subjective but reliable. In one study, two administrators
(principle and one other staff member--counselor, etc.) were asked to rank the
teachers in their school based upon their own subjective opinion. This was done
in several schools and the correlation was very strong. It was especially
obvious in the top and bottom 10%. People familiar with the faculty including
other faculty members, know who is doing a good job and who isn't.
It's just so hard to identify the factors since effective teachers have
different styles. I think that the best way to promote good teaching would be to
offer a bonus to every teacher in the school at the end of the school year based
on improvement of the whole school's test scores at the end of the school
year. That way, there would be cooperation and encouragement and even pressure
from different members of the faculty to help each other. Teachers, not just the
administration, could ask that a incompetent teacher be fired because the size
of everyone's bonus could reduced by an incompetent teacher.
The Obama administration is totally beholding to big unions, especially the
national teachers unions, for all the support they gave (and continue giving)
for his election and administration. There's no question that he can not
approach this issue in an unbiased way. Whenever individual states
try to make more charter schools available (additional options) to inner-city
students who suffer from some of the worst school programs (teachers) in
America, Eric Holder, Obama's Attorney General, fights giving those kids
additional options because the teacher's unions obviously don't want
that. More options would take money and thus power away from them.The quality and level of education in America is directly correlated to the
quality level of the teachers. Statistics show we are continuing to fall in
standings in relation to the rest of the free world. And until we can get better
overall teachers, to go along with less federal interference, then those numbers
Teachers are not the blame for our poor education.Do some homework.
Contact your local teacher's union for details!
Administrators can make life difficult for teachers. I witnessed this firsthand,
when my father-in-law, who had been pressured into retirement, by being given
all of the difficult students each new year. At one point, the principal asked
him point blank when he was going to retire. My father-in-law stated he needed
to work just 3 more years. The principal stated, "well then, I guess
we'll just have to come after you with both barrels". (By the way, my
father-in-law was loved by both the parents and the students and was given
special recognition over many years. It was degusting to see what happened to
this good man.