Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Importance of Tenure

K-12 tenure is crucial for at least two reasons. One, protecting political activists who speak out on matters which generally irritate those in power. No tenure, and the number of people willing to to put their jobs at risk diminishes. Two, it protects against grade inflation. It is common for teachers to quietly relent to the implied intimidation of locally powerful parents when it comes to little Johnny's grade or behavior. It's not the type of thing that usually ends up in confrontation, but rather, in the background, day by day, week by week. Is a teacher really going to say a child doesn't belong in G&T when their parent can call up the principal and force a meeting any time they please ? And when that meeting will go on their record and they have no job protection whatsoever ?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand the importance from the teacher's perspective, but how about considering the students who get "stuck" with an older teacher who has this "they can't fire me" attitude? The chances of little Johnny getting such a teacher is extremely likely. One who doesn't bother with utilizing technology in the classroom as they find computers to be intimidating and difficult to operate. It is then HE who suffers from receiving a poor education, and because of his teacher's unhappiness, begins to dislike school. Trust me, I've been there with my own kid. I believe tenure is a wonderful idea, but strongly feel that such contracts should be up for renewal approximately every 4-5 years.