Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Nobody Deserves Tenure

Chester Finn has written a very provocative article about teacher tenure called Nobody Deserves Tenure. Please tell us what you think.


  1. (We just received an email responding to Finn's article which I will paste in here.)


    I am a parent and have witnessed how this destroys the education system. Those teachers who are new and excited about teaching are threatened to do as they are told (even if it's not in the best interest of the student) or they are GONE because they don't have tenure. Many of those teachers who have it seem to get lazy, they suffer from burn-out and only hang in there because of their pension/retirement $$$. Tenure is a crutch...Tenure is poison to our kids. Tenure needs to go. Just because you are good the first few years doesn't mean it sticks with you for the rest of your career or life. We are only human! Our military men and women have to re-enlist after 4 years if they want their job. Elected officials? Judges definitely should not have tenure! If you are as good as you say you are you definitely don't need tenure. Tenure in NO way is benefiting our children. Tenure helps turn the classroom into a rubber room. Our kids deserve better.

    If it could be put to a vote in the next election (which I believe it should) taxpayers would more than likely vote NO tenure!

    The school down the street from me is in Program improvement, the avg amount of teaching exp. is 24 years and they just can't get the job done. They blame everything on the parents, don't talk to the parents, only use paper as a form of communication, refuse volunteer help in the class and the kids they are losing are the high performing. The teachers don't get along, they don't trust each other, they play the dirtiest games that only hurt our kids. The principal just sits back and does nothing. When you see parents and students fighting for their teachers jobs you realize they just don't get it. They need to stop and let the Unions take care of that.

    Trust me I know: They wanted the Union to sue me because I caught their Principal stealing from the school, PTO and school district. They said I ruined the reputation of the school. This is who is teaching the future of America?

    As you can see I will never support anyone, any organization that supports teacher tenure. Governor Christie proved he wasn't ready to become President when he kept teacher tenure in his plan.

    Thanks for providing the information. When teachers support and fight for their tenure you know there is something seriously wrong. That just tells us parents they can't do the job and it's NOT about the students. If they are that good and care so much about the students they would want the underperforming teachers OUT.

  2. I don't think you can fault teachers for wanting to keep tenure--why would someone voluntarily give up a protection of some kind? And sometimes tenure works; yes, I was once involved in a situation that made *international* news and the only thing that kept me from being fired, in addition to not having violated any law, policy, rule, or written or verbal instruction, was the fact that I'd been employed in the district for over 2 years. I was tenured.

    Tenure is a red herring, in my view. Tenure *should* be nothing more than a guarantee of due process before losing your govt-paid job. Sadly, what we have now is something I call "undue process", where it takes an inordinate amount of work to get a teacher fired. Clearly, unions help make it difficult to get bad teachers fired, and that system needs to be reformed. But to think that getting rid of tenure is at all a big part of what's needed to "fix" schools, I'm not seeing it. There are *so* many bigger fish to fry.

  3. If tenure were nothing more than due process, we wouldn't even be discussing it. But as you say, it has grown into a monster. As far as fish go, there may be bigger ones, but the tenure monster certainly needs to be addressed.