Sunday, December 30, 2012

The problem with tenure (by anon)

I have a problem with the way teachers with tenure get handled in school.  Maybe some schools handle this well, but I know my high school, as well as many of the other area schools have gotten themselves into real binds by giving a teacher tenure.  I know that tenure can sometimes be a good thing, but I also want to give some examples of how it can have disastrous results.

Specifically with my school, there have been two incidents regarding teachers who had tenure.  The first, my school was hiring a new third grade teacher, and one of the applicants was teaching at another nearby school, and the other school gave a very good recommendation for this teacher.  When my school hired this teacher, it did not take long to realize that she was an absolute nutcase, and the only reason the other school gave her a good recommendation was because she had tenure at the other school (they couldn't legally fire her.)  So my school got stuck with her, and I feel horrible for anyne who had to endure her classes (I only had her once a day, thank God.)  Along with this, my school couldn't get rid of her either, for she came to my school with the tenure as well.  I don't know how or why she eventually left, but she was in my school for a long time, and threatened to sue my school if she was let go.

The second example was a middle / high school science teacher who had been at my school for a while (up until last school year actually,) and everybody, even the principal, knew how terrible of a teacher she was, yet they couldn't get rid of her...she had tenure.  So how did my school eventually get rid of her?  They gave her a great recommendation to another school, which hired her!  I hate it when schools do this, because not only are they lying to each other, they are taking jobs away from potentially good teachers!  But at the same time, they need to get rid of the bad teacher in some way, but if that is the only way to remove a bad teacher, there is a serious problem.

Now I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on how tenure exactly works, but based on the horror stories I've heard of how it kept bad teachers in and good teachers out, I think it's a serious issue.  If an amazing teacher gets tenure, then it is a great thing!  But some people don't handle tenure very well; some may get lazy because of the new job security, and some may become downright assholes.  I don't think that a teacher should always have to be worried about getting fired, but if they don't continue doing their job effectively as soon as they get tenure, then tenure is one of the worst problems in schools today.

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