Teacher Tenure Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Teacher Tenure Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1605

  • Pages: 6

Teacher Tenure

One issue among many issues in today’s education system is teacher tenure. The problem with teacher tenure is that it makes firing an incompetent teacher virtually impossible. Many teachers in public schools have tenure, according to Education Reporter; approximately 80% of public school teachers have tenure (“Why Bad Teachers…” 1). This in turn then affects the amount the students learn and progress. In order for the education system to improve the problem of teacher tenure, needs to find a solution. The amount of time and money required to fire a tenured teacher makes it difficult to remove underperforming teachers, and affects students.

Tenured teachers are difficult to be fired because of the amount of money and time required by the schools and state. In many states it can take almost a year to fire a tenured teacher, there are even some states where it could take over a year to fire a tenured teacher. According to ProCon.org, in the state of Michigan it can take up to 355 days to fire a tenured teacher (“Teacher Tenure” 1). In an Education Reporter article “Why Bad Teachers…” it states that the Ney York State School Boards Association found that it takes an average of 455 days to dismiss a tenured teacher (1). This process of firing a tenured teacher also costs the state a lot of money, according to ProCon.org a school in Los Angeles a three and a half million dollars to try and fire 7 under performing teachers (“Teacher Tenure” 3).

Due to the amount of time and money required of the schools and states, they are not firing underperforming teachers. According to “ Protecting Bad Teachers,” in a Chicago school district 28.5% of 11th grade students met or exceeded expectations on Chicago’s state standardized tests, only 0.1% of teachers were dismissed for performance related reasons between 2005 and 2006 (1). “Between 1995 and 2005, only 112 Los Angeles tenured teachers faced termination – eleven per year – out of 43,000. And that’s in a school district where the graduation rate in 2003 was just 51 percent, (“Protecting Bad Teachers” 1). As reported by ProCon.org in “Teacher Tenure,” 81% of school administrators reported that they knew of a poorly performing tenured teacher at their school; however 86% administrators said they do not always pursue dismissal, (1).

The point is that teachers that are not meeting the standards still have their jobs, because the school districts and statescannot afford to spend the time and money on firing them; they therefore continue to teach and it directly affects student test scores and graduation rate. There are cases although where the school instead of firing the teacher they move them to different positions. In LA and San Francisco they pay suspended teachers to answer phones, work in ware houses, or just stay home. One case of a teacher being moved is that of Patricia Adams, her story can be found in the New Yorker’s article “The Rubber Room,” (2-3). In November of 2005, Adams was found unconscious in her classroom, the principal tried to wake her up but she did not wake up. A teacher at the scene reported that he could smell what he believed to be alcohol on her.

Adams two years later returned to teach one last semester and then a secretary position, as long as she had not found another teaching job, and she would be required to have random alcohol testing. In February of 2009, she passed out in the office she worked in a drug and alcohol testing services technician was called to the scene and reported that Adams could not even blow into a breathalyzer and her water bottle contained alcohol. Adams was eventually fired, but cost the school and state a decent amount of money. People like Patricia Adams should be fired when the first incident occurs so they do not cost the state any more money. Tenured teachers that are

under performing are not being fired because of the amount of money and time they cost states and schools.
Underperforming teachers are not fired due to the amount of money and time required to fire them and in turn affect student’s learning. In some cases teachers that are not performing to standards are moved to “Rubber Rooms,” where they will do the least amount of “damage” to a student’s education, these rooms normally contain remedial students. However, there are some extreme cases where teachers are put in a room and are not responsible for students. In New York City according to The New York Daily News” there is an average of 700 teachers being paid not to teach, because it would cost too much to fire them, (“Protecting Bad Teachers” 2). In The New Yorker it describes a Rubber Room “It’s a June morning, and there are fifteen people in the room, four of them fast asleep, their heads lying on a card table. Three are playing a board game. Most of the others stand around chatting.

Two are arguing over one of the folding chairs. But there are no children here. The inhabitants are all New York City schoolteachers who have been sent to what is officially called a Temporary Reassignment Center but which everyone calls a Rubber Room,” (The Rubber Room 1). The author then states that these teachers stay in the Rubber Room and get paid to do nothing for an average of three years. These teachers take money from the system and affect the students. A student’s success is dependent on consistently having a good teacher. As stated in the New Yorker, “Kids succeeding in school isn’t money spent on buildings or books, but, rather the quality of their teachers… ‘having a top-quartile teacher rather than a bottom-quartile teacher four years in a row would be enough to close the black-white test score gap,’”(The Rubber Room 4). A student simply cannot be successful in school if they do not have a good teacher. Early elementary students can suffer long – term negative effects, even if they have good teachers later on. The way concepts build on each other throughout school make it very difficult to catch up after a year with a bad teacher. In the MET project it states “Teachers previously identified as more effective caused students to learn more.

Groups of teachers who had been identified as less effective caused students to learn less,” (Ensuring Fair…Effective Teaching 3). The success of students relies on the effectiveness of their teachers. In order for the education system to improve, the majority of teachers need to be effective in their teaching styles.

There are many different possible solutions to the problem with teacher tenure, including the Peer Intervention Program Plus, taking away tenure, and more effective ratings of teachers. The Peer Intervention Program Plus (P.I.P. Plus), is a program in which teachers suspected of incompetence are observed by a peer teacher for up to a year; at the end the peer then submits a report as to if the teacher was incompetent. This program would allow for the peer to help the teacher improve their teaching and keep the teacher before they would be fired. Another solution is to not have tenure anymore, schools would save money because they would not have to pay incompetent teachers and would not spend money to fire them. Tenure is not needed for some teachers to apply, according to ProCon.org; 900 teachers applied for 80 openings knowing there was no tenure (“Teacher Tenure” 1).
More effective ratings of teachers would also help solve the issue of teacher tenure. These ratings should not be based solely on test scores but balanced with observations as well as student surveys. Many teachers receive one of the top two ratings, because the principals know they cannot fire bad tenured teachers anyways. Teachers could also be evaluated by “value-added scores,” with this system teachers add value when a student improves in a year.

In conclusion the best overall best solution is a combination of the solutions suggested above. Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg took over the New York school system and their success in the schools is described in the New Yorker. Klein and Bloomberg have a very aggressive approach to removing bad teaches, they also used P.I.P Plus. In the New Yorker school teacher Brandi Scheiner is quoted, “‘Before Bloomberg and Klein, everyone knew that an incompetent teacher would realize it and leave on their own…There was no need to push anyone out,’” (“The Rubber Room” 1). Bloomberg and Klein’s aggressive tactics to remove teachers have been successful, both graduation rates and test scores have improved since they took over. The principals also play a role in firing of teachers and are therefore responsible in pointing out incompetent teachers and removing them from teaching. An example of a pro-active teacher is Daysi Garcia; she is a principal in Queens and according to Klein a standout principal. Garcia is motivated to remove incompetent teachers and in the New Yorker is quoted after spending 5 days testifying to remove a teacher, “‘when I think about the impact of a teacher like this on the children and how long that lasts, it’s worth it, even if it is hard,’” (“The Rubber Room” 5). Before the education system can improve principals need to step up and remove incompetent teachers. The issue of teacher tenure also needs to be resolved.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

Teacher Tenure Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Teacher Tenure Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1596

  • Pages: 6

Teacher Tenure

One issue among many issues in today’s education system is teacher tenure. The problem with teacher tenure is that it makes firing an incompetent teacher virtually impossible. Many teachers in public schools have tenure, according to Education Reporter; approximately 80% of public school teachers have tenure (“Why Bad Teachers…” 1). This in turn then affects the amount the students learn and progress. In order for the education system to improve the problem of teacher tenure, needs to find a solution. The amount of time and money required to fire a tenured teacher makes it difficult to remove underperforming teachers, and affects students.

Tenured teachers are difficult to be fired because of the amount of money and time required by the schools and state. In many states it can take almost a year to fire a tenured teacher, there are even some states where it could take over a year to fire a tenured teacher. According to ProCon.org, in the state of Michigan it can take up to 355 days to fire a tenured teacher (“Teacher Tenure” 1). In an Education Reporter article “Why Bad Teachers…” it states that the Ney York State School Boards Association found that it takes an average of 455 days to dismiss a tenured teacher (1). This process of firing a tenured teacher also costs the state a lot of money, according to ProCon.org a school in Los Angeles a three and a half million dollars to try and fire 7 under performing teachers (“Teacher Tenure” 3). Due to the amount of time and money required of the schools and states, they are not firing underperforming teachers. According to “ Protecting Bad Teachers,” in a Chicago school district 28.5% of 11th grade students met or exceeded expectations on Chicago’s state standardized tests, only 0.1% of teachers were dismissed for performance related reasons between 2005 and 2006 (1). “Between 1995 and 2005, only 112 Los Angeles tenured teachers faced termination – eleven per year – out of 43,000.

And that’s in a school district where the graduation rate in 2003 was just 51 percent, (“Protecting Bad Teachers” 1). As reported by ProCon.org in “Teacher Tenure,” 81% of school administrators reported that they knew of a poorly performing tenured teacher at their school; however 86% administrators said they do not always pursue dismissal, (1). The point is that teachers that are not meeting the standards still have their jobs, because the school districts and statescannot afford to spend the time and money on firing them; they therefore continue to teach and it directly affects student test scores and graduation rate. There are cases although where the school instead of firing the teacher they move them to different positions. In LA and San Francisco they pay suspended teachers to answer phones, work in ware houses, or just stay home. One case of a teacher being moved is that of Patricia Adams, her story can be found in the New Yorker’s article “The Rubber Room,” (2-3).

In November of 2005, Adams was found unconscious in her classroom, the principal tried to wake her up but she did not wake up. A teacher at the scene reported that he could smell what he believed to be alcohol on her. Adams two years later returned to teach one last semester and then a secretary position, as long as she had not found another teaching job, and she would be required to have random alcohol testing. In February of 2009, she passed out in the office she worked in a drug and alcohol testing services technician was called to the scene and reported that Adams could not even blow into a breathalyzer and her water bottle contained alcohol. Adams was eventually fired, but cost the school and state a decent amount of money. People like Patricia Adams should be fired when the first incident occurs so they do not cost the state any more money. Tenured teachers that are

under performing are not being fired because of the amount of money and time they cost states and schools.
Underperforming teachers are not fired due to the amount of money and time required to fire them and in turn affect student’s learning. In some cases teachers that are not performing to standards are moved to “Rubber Rooms,” where they will do the least amount of “damage” to a student’s education, these rooms normally contain remedial students. However, there are some extreme cases where teachers are put in a room and are not responsible for students. In New York City according to The New York Daily News” there is an average of 700 teachers being paid not to teach, because it would cost too much to fire them, (“Protecting Bad Teachers” 2). In The New Yorker it describes a Rubber Room “It’s a June morning, and there are fifteen people in the room, four of them fast asleep, their heads lying on a card table. Three are playing a board game. Most of the others stand around chatting.
Two are arguing over one of the folding chairs. But there are no children here. The inhabitants are all New York City schoolteachers who have been sent to what is officially called a Temporary Reassignment Center but which everyone calls a Rubber Room,” (The Rubber Room 1). The author then states that these teachers stay in the Rubber Room and get paid to do nothing for an average of three years. These teachers take money from the system and affect the students. A student’s success is dependent on consistently having a good teacher. As stated in the New Yorker, “Kids succeeding in school isn’t money spent on buildings or books, but, rather the quality of their teachers… ‘having a top-quartile teacher rather than a bottom-quartile teacher four years in a row would be enough to close the black-white test score gap,’”(The Rubber Room 4).

A student simply cannot be successful in school if they do not have a good teacher. Early elementary students can suffer long – term negative effects, even if they have good teachers later on. The way concepts build on each other throughout school make it very difficult to catch up after a year with a bad teacher. In the MET project it states “Teachers previously identified as more effective caused students to learn more. Groups of teachers who had been identified as less effective caused students to learn less,” (Ensuring Fair…Effective Teaching 3). The success of students relies on the effectiveness of their teachers. In order for the education system to improve, the majority of teachers need to be effective in their teaching styles.

There are many different possible solutions to the problem with teacher tenure, including the Peer Intervention Program Plus, taking away tenure, and more effective ratings of teachers. The Peer Intervention Program Plus (P.I.P. Plus), is a program in which teachers suspected of incompetence are observed by a peer teacher for up to a year; at the end the peer then submits a report as to if the teacher was incompetent. This program would allow for the peer to help the teacher improve their teaching and keep the teacher before they would be fired. Another solution is to not have tenure anymore, schools would save money because they would not have to pay incompetent teachers and would not spend money to fire them. Tenure is not needed for some teachers to apply, according to ProCon.org; 900 teachers applied for 80 openings knowing there was no tenure (“Teacher Tenure” 1).
More effective ratings of teachers would also help solve the issue of teacher tenure. These ratings should not be based solely on test scores but balanced with observations as well as student surveys. Many teachers receive one of the top two ratings, because the principals know they cannot fire bad tenured teachers anyways. Teachers could also be evaluated by “value-added scores,” with this system teachers add value when a student improves in a year.

In conclusion the best overall best solution is a combination of the solutions suggested above. Joel Klein and Michael Bloomberg took over the New York school system and their success in the schools is described in the New Yorker. Klein and Bloomberg have a very aggressive approach to removing bad teaches, they also used P.I.P Plus. In the New Yorker school teacher Brandi Scheiner is quoted, “‘Before Bloomberg and Klein, everyone knew that an incompetent teacher would realize it and leave on their own…There was no need to push anyone out,’” (“The Rubber Room” 1). Bloomberg and Klein’s aggressive tactics to remove teachers have been successful, both graduation rates and test scores have improved since they took over. The principals also play a role in firing of teachers and are therefore responsible in pointing out incompetent teachers and removing them from teaching. An example of a pro-active teacher is Daysi Garcia; she is a principal in Queens and according to Klein a standout principal. Garcia is motivated to remove incompetent teachers and in the New Yorker is quoted after spending 5 days testifying to remove a teacher, “‘when I think about the impact of a teacher like this on the children and how long that lasts, it’s worth it, even if it is hard,’” (“The Rubber Room” 5). Before the education system can improve principals need to step up and remove incompetent teachers. The issue of teacher tenure also needs to be resolved.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts

Teacher Tenure Essay

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Teacher Tenure Essay
Rate this post

  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1758

  • Pages: 7

Teacher Tenure

Today, there seems to be a push to change the policy of teacher tenure. “Roughly 2. 3 million public school teachers in the United States have tenure—a perk reserved for the noblest of professions (professors and judges also enjoy such rights). ” (Stephey) Tenure refers to a policy which gives teachers a permanent contract that effectively ensuring them a guarantee of employment for life.

Stephey continues to state, “Though tenure doesn’t guarantee lifetime employment, it does make firing teachers a difficult and costly process, one that involves the union, the school board, the principal, the judicial system and thousands of dollars in legal fees. ” (Stephey) In making this comment, Stephey urges us to think about tenure process and what is involved in removing a teacher. Tenure started in the early 20th century as a means of protecting teachers from being fired for wrong reasons.

Back then, racial or personal bias could get a perfectly good teacher fired. Female teachers even faced being fired for becoming pregnant or for wearing pants to work. Tenure also serves to protect professors whose research or teaching practices might ruffle feathers, and to ensure job security for out of the box academic pursuits. Typically, tenure is granted to university professors only after an intensive and protracted process of review. Professors usually do not come under review for tenure until they have spent at least five years working in their position.

Primary and secondary school teachers can earn tenure in as little as two years on the job. Should teacher tenure be abolished? Wisniewski 2 In 2000, 36 year old Leslie Jermyn went to teach her first course as a seasonal lecturer at the University of Toronto for $4,550, she taught 100 students a two month first year anthropology course. Though Jermyn would go on to teach courses every summer for the next 11 years, the job was never guaranteed, and every year she experienced “gut wrenching tension” waiting to find out whether she won the contract.

“Often I was hired within two weeks of the start time of the course. ” For years she had no benefits and worked out of a shared office, furnished with one desk and telephone. In 2007, after she had been teaching upwards of 800 students a year for three years straight, she argued to the dean that her department needed a regular teaching position. That didn’t work, and Jermyn says she knows why:”I’m cheaper without benefits. ” (Findlay) When university’s replace full time professors with a seasonal lecturer, it undermines the whole profession.

Today, tenure gives teachers protection from being able to take chances with material that may be deemed controversial or speaks out about the latest headlines or issues at hand. According to Nelson, “In truth, many Americans deserve better job security than they have. But people responsible for teaching your children have a special need to be protected from capricious dismissal. ” Nelson continues to say,” If your children are going to be taught to think rigorously and creatively—which is their best route–they need to be taught by teachers who can be rigorous and creative and courageous as well.

” (Nelson) In making these comments, Nelson argues that tenure is a necessity if our children are to succeed by exposing them to different teaching methods. The argument that tenure is just a matter of showing up to work and putting in your time is reflected in this article written by the: The New York State United Teachers, “Mythbusters: The Truth About Tenure”, Wisniewski 3 “Unions don’t grant tenure – administrators do. Too many school boards and superintendents attack tenure rather than hold their own managers accountable for hiring and supervising teachers and, if necessary, removing those who don’t make the grade.

” (Mythbusters) In most cases when a teacher earns tenure there are very few reviews and if the reviewer likes that person they will end up with positive remarks. There is no need for teachers to have tenure. The principle of academic freedom is so well established that no administration or board of trustees at any school district would dare violate it. When one is a teacher they know that they need to teach the material that is needed for students succeed and excel during testing. Teachers should have no fear in being dismissed if they are doing the job that they were hired for.

In the other hand, if one is not doing their job teaching then that is simply one owns fault when getting fired. There are many workers who work hard to get what they deserve such as high pay and benefits. Then why do are there laws which protects teacher’s jobs only? In school districts across America there are stories as found in an article from Meghan Mathis as she writes, “New York faced intense scrutiny and criticism in 2009 when it came to light it had been paying full salaries to nearly 700 tenured teachers who had been accused of poor performance or wrongdoing.

These teachers were paid not to teach, but rather to sit in a guarded room from start to finish of each day. ” How is the government benefitting our society by using tax payer’s dollars to pay for teachers to idly sit in a room when these dollars could be used to introduce new programs into the classroom or better yet a teacher willing to do the job? Why are tax payer’s dollars wasted by spending this money on terminating teachers? Writing in Time, Stephey states that “Some school districts have resorted to separation Wisniewski 4 agreements, buyouts that effectively pay a teacher to leave his or her job.

The practice has evolved as a way to avoid the extensive hearings and appeals required by union contracts and state-labor laws in firing a tenured teacher. (Costs can run as high as $100,000). ” (Stephey) When this happens again our children lose out due to the high costs to remove the teacher that if they had been reviewed properly they would not have the job in the first place. A growing trend is for at will employees in the educational field in Jack Stripling’s example: If a majority of presidents who were surveyed got their way, their campuses might work something like the Franklin W.

Olin College of Engineering or Lindenwood University, neither of which offers tenure. When Olin opened, in 2002, all of the inaugural faculties were placed on five-year contracts. The Massachusetts College’s founders said a nontenure system would give the institution more flexibility to phase programs in and out as the needs of the industry demanded, said Richard K. Miller, president of the college. “Nobody comes to Olin because they are looking for job security,” he said. “People come to Olin because they’re looking to make a difference.

” Some professors have decided on their own to leave Olin, but the college has yet to refuse any contract renewals. By offering contracts to the professors has not been a detriment to the colleges and has given both the college and teachers flexibility to change the programs offered and those who stayed were offered another contract. Wisniewski 5 The push today is to change tenure by offering contracts that may last 2-5 years. At the end of the contract they will be reviewed just like any other job.

If they have performed well they will be offered another contract or if they performed poorly this would lead to not renewing their contract. This will encourage teachers to work harder and makes sure they are interested in the children test scores and overall success. Tim Weldon is surely right about the one issue about which almost everyone agrees is, “The state of teacher pay and attrition is disturbing and potentially catastrophic to the teaching profession because recent studies have shown that nearly half of all teachers leave the profession within five years, with attrition rates highest in schools serving low-income students.

” (Weldon) This is disturbing that teachers are leaving at such an alarming rate but if we were to reward them better pay and incentives this would encourage them to stay. In a speech given to National Broad of Professional Teaching Standards, U. S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said “If teachers are to be treated and compensated as the true professionals as they are, the profession will need to shift away from industrial era blue collar model of compensation to rewarding effectiveness and performance,” he said.

“Teachers should have annual salaries starting at $60,000 and the opportunity to make up to $150,000 based on performance. ” (Weldon) By having better opportunities for teachers to make their salaries based on performance this will encourage them to become more involve with their students. This will also encourage the ones who want to be a teacher thrive and be rewarded for the hard work they put into the job. Wisniewski 6 Works Cited “Mythbusters: The Truth About Tenure”. NYSUT United 8 Feb. 2011: n. pg. Web.

accessed July 25,2012 Findlay, Stephanie. “Whatever Happened to Tenure? The Backbone of Today’s University is Ill-Paid, Overworked Lecturer. ” Maclean’s 124. 2 24 Jan. 2011: n. pg. General OneFile. Web. 24 July 2012 Mathis, Meghan. “Teacher Tenure Debate: Pros & Cons. ” The K-12 Teachers Alliance 4 May 2012: n. pg. Web. accessed July 25, 2012 Nelson, Cary. “Parents: Your Children Need Professors With Tenure. ” The Chronicle of Higher Education 57. 07 3 Oct. 2010: n. pg. Academic OneFile. Web. 25 July 2012 Stephey, M.

J. “Tenure. ” Time 17 Nov. 2008: n. pg. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 July 2012. Stripling, Jack. “Most Presidents Favor No Tenure for Majority of Faculty; Evan Many Leaders of Private and Public Colleges Want More Long Term Contracts for Professors. ” The Chornicle of Higher Education 57. 37 15 May 2011: n. pg. Academic OneFile. Web. 24 July 2012 Weldon, Tim. “Does Merit Pay for Teachers Have Merit? Pros and Cons of New Models for Teacher Compensation. ” Capital Research. Oct. 2011: 1-9. Web. 24 July 2012.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

About the author

admin

View all posts