Published: Friday, June 13 2014 7:01 p.m. MDT
Here is the problem I have with this. When my dad went through his career, he
and his employer actually had a relationship, there was loyalty between employer
and employee. He rode the rise of IBM. Upon my birth, he actually got a hand
written not from "Pappa Watson".Since that time, the
contract between employer and employee has been nullified. With one of the world
largest software companies I now partner with I was recently told that their
average recruit lasts only 18 months. The age of having a career seems to all
but be lost.In high tech and other industries, some level of this
has been the norm. Technology has been the binding force. But in education, it
is a much more personal. My wife has been in education most of her life.
Teaching is a relationship and trust based job. Turning teachers into
commodities is a dangerous path for our kids. Rating a teacher year after year
ignores the fact that their job success greatly depends on the random sampling
of kids they inherit each year. Tenure, used properly, simply smooths out those
outlyier years.We need to be careful about turning people into
Schools will slowly improve because of this ruling. Its important to note that
the key problem of attracting and retaining quality teachers will still be a
challenge. But at least schools will be able to weed out the truly bad ones in
California. Giving a bad teacher students harms everybody.
Every other profession is largely scrutinized on performance. Adjustments are
made accordingly. Why should the education system be any different? Believe it
or not, there are bad teachers out there who need to be terminated and who are
protected by tenure. This is a fact and is why this ruling came to be. Without a
doubt the good to excellent teachers will be upset by long-standing protection
and job security.
It looks like a win-win solution to me. Good teachers are in demand. Good
teachers will have no problem keeping a job, and, more importantly, doing their
job, which is to educate our children. Students will be assured that the
teacher is qualified to be in the classroom, not because he has
"survived" longer than other teachers, but because he is a good
teacher.The only people who will complain are the poor-quality
teachers who could not pass a "merit" review.Of all the
teachers I had in school, there were only two that I would have preferred to
have been reassigned. One was a 10th grade history teacher who gave us a
reading assignment each day, and then left the classroom. The other was a 9th
grade math teacher who turned the TV to channel 7 for our televised math lesson
and then left the classroom. All of the other teachers cared about the students.
Many of them spent time with me after school. There's plenty
of room for good teachers. Tenure isn't required.
I have found that "tenure" seems to be defined in drastically different
ways depending on the institution. Where I have worked, being
"non-tenured" meant you were on probation for three to seven years. Then
a decision was made whether to allow you continuing status. If you passed you
became "tenured" but that was not a promise of lifetime employment. You
were still subject to being dismissed for cause. I have always had regular
"post tenure reviews." I know plenty of tenured instructors who lost the
jobs because of performance issues.The systems I've worked
under gave better pay to tenured faculty. There was also the promise that that
non-tenured instructors would be laid off before tenured ones during economic
downturns. Under this situation you are rewarding good teachers but
still requiring them to perform and getting rid of bad ones quickly.My input would be to make sure systems of tenure do not guarantee someone
employment regardless of job performance. But don't forget the other side
of having "good teachers." You want to reward those who do perform.
Are bad teachers the real problem with education?Companies make $35
for each test a student takes.Many students are tested frequently
through out the school year, and actually lose out on learning.Is it
possible that legislators, and test companies work together, and plan out
frequent testing, then blame teachers if students lose out on learning?
Wow, what a concept...being evaluated on ones performance. Only Liberals would
be against such a notion.From CNN.com from 6/12/2014:"The students had two main arguments.First, that five
California laws that allow public school teachers to secure (and keep) tenure
after 18 short months caused the students to be unreasonably exposed to
'grossly ineffective teachers.' And second, that minority and poor
students were disproportionately stuck with them""The case
started two years ago, when nine students sued the state of California,
asserting that their constitutional right to equality of education is violated
by laws that protect "grossly inadequate teachers." Two unions
representing 425,000 teachers stepped in to fight the students, their families
and a legal team backed by a powerful education reformer, Students
First."====Interesting how the caring teachers and
their thug Unions responded to these students (primarily minority and poor) they
claim to care so much about. Instead of addressing the legitimate concerns
these kids had, the teachers and their unions fought them! This proves the
point that the "children" are not the Lefts primary concern in
education. No, the most important thing is protecting ineffective teachers, and
their thug Unions.Great ruling by this Judge!
For teachers, the word "tenure" means they're evaluated using an
observation every 3 years. Eliminating "tenure" turns teachers
into "at will" employees, like factory workers. They can be fired on
the whim of their manager.This is bad for education - There used to
be a social contract between teachers and states. Teachers agreed
to work for a low salary, but in return were given creativity, autonomy, and a
job with meaning. In addition, they got job security, good health care, and a
decent retirement benefit. That social contract filled our schools with great
teachers who did amazing things during the 20th century. It's impossible
to ignore the 20th century American impact of great teachers in a universal
education system.Now, the retirement benefit is gone, the heath care
benefit is severely degraded, job security is threatened, autonomy is eroded by
testing, and creativity is replaced by a national core curriculum. All
that's left is a sense of meaning and a low salary.You
can't feed and house a family with a sense of meaning.In the
end we will get what we pay for. That's what Republicans call "market
Who would really want to become a teacher today? They are constantly attacked
and blamed for everything. People complain about the feds meddling
in education but our own legislature should butt out and let the districts and
The Utah Republican hit the nail on the head. As the incentives for
bright college students to become a teacher diminish, the need to get rid of bad
I don't understand tenure for K-12 educators. If people are
insistent on maintaining tenure for K12 educators they should institute higher
standards of performance and longevity before awarding the it. A typical
university faculty member takes 6 years to earn tenure, and there's very
strict performance benchmarks that have to be met before getting the promotion.
There's no reason a K12 teacher should have a lower standard.
All moot in Utah. Teachers have no tenure here. One unhappy parent can ruin a
good teacher's career. One lying student can take your livelihood. Academic
freedom doesn't exist. People who want to be teachers in Utah ought to be
automatically disqualified--they're clearly insane.
@10CCAnother problem caused by diminished incentives is getting
college students who would make great teachers actually interested in becoming
an educator. Teaching is a wonderful profession but there aren't a lot of
good reasons to become a teacher right now. Teacher pay is frankly an
embarrassment in many states, including Utah, overcrowded classes, lack of
investment in students (Utah ranks dead last in per pupil spending), all work to
drive away men and women would make great teachers. There are a lot of reasons
for these problems, some caused by state legislatures and some caused on the
education side as well. My real fear as a teacher is that I don't see
anyone really talking about actual solutions to these issues.
@The Utah RepublicanYou provided a fairly long post, but you
didn't address why public education teacher's tenure should exempt
them from performance standards? Tenure does indeed keep bad teachers in the
classroom. If the teacher is not performing...or performing well enough, they
should be fired. After all, isn't this about the children? Funny how most
of the posts critical of this ruling and tenure put the focus on the teachers in
stead of where it should be...the CHILDREN!Sorry, but I'm sick
and tired of teachers acting as if they're martyrs. If they don't
like their jobs, and being treated that way other professions are, they should
quit. Oh, and most professions don't get summers off.Bring
back vouchers! Give parents, especially low income families, a choice in their
Irony Guy said:"All moot in Utah. Teachers have no tenure here.
One unhappy parent can ruin a good teacher's career. One lying student can
take your livelihood. Academic freedom doesn't exist. People who want to be
teachers in Utah ought to be automatically disqualified--they're clearly
insane."====Yeah, and a few bad teachers can ruin a
good child's future.
In Los Angeles there is a large room with several dozen teachers playing with
their computers getting their pay, but not allowed to teach they are so bad.
Better to end tenure.
The problem is much worse in higher education than public schools as far as
"underperforming educators" but nobody talks about that much.
@ Sven"You provided a fairly long post, but you didn't
address why public education teacher's tenure should exempt them from
performance standards? Tenure does indeed keep bad teachers in the classroom. If
the teacher is not performing...or performing well enough, they should be fired.
After all, isn't this about the children?"Just because
you've failed to read Utah Republican's post and many other posts in
this thread doesn't mean that the focus hasn't been on the children.
It has.Many posts have already stated is clearly.Mindless testing, dumbing down of he curriculum, no autonomy, meddling
legislature, no incentives, zero reason to go into education, the lack of
benefits and pay is discouraging good people from becoming educators, etc...If you fail to see how this doesn't affect children in a negative
manner then I don't know what to tell ya.
Oh my goodness! I just agreed with Worf!May I add one thought? How
about the almost total lack of respect for education among so many Americans?
Athletes are idolized. Smart kids are ridiculed.Then there are the
parents who don't give a hoot.But it's always the
teacher's fault.How about modifying tenure and making it easier
to fire really bad teachers without destroying protections for good ones who may
find it necessary to stand up against an administrative decision or something
similar? Teachers who speak up for a student or who try to take a stand against
harmful actions of the administration need to have some kind of protection, too.
RE: Mike Richards "Good teachers will have no problem keeping a
job,..."Probably not true, unfortunately. Such is the nature of
education today, the good will be leveled with the bad. You have to have been
there, or are there, to understand this.
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