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.
It might really end up being good for teachers. Schools may start competing for
the best teachers and will have to pay for it. It will just be bad for equity
in education and/or bad for the taxpayer's pocketbook.
Those suggesting that schools will have to compete and teachers will easily find
jobs obviously have no idea what you're talking about.The
education has quite the abundance of workers right now due to significant drops
in tax revenue. Look at how the class size has exploded since the recession here
in utah (and we were one of the most protected).So right now
educators have little power. And sadly, it's the children that suffer. As
good people see the lack or power, few job openings, benefits, compensation, job
security, etc they will leave for better fields.The children will
suffer. It's all about the children.
Tenure has become synonymous with a job beyond review. That was not the original
purpose of tenure. In its present form tenure protects incompetent teachers.
Vouchers, if properly funded for all kids, would be a tremendous boon for
education in this country.Both France and Sweden – hardly
bastions of conservative ideology – saw the wisdom of vouchers years ago
and are so far happy with the results.
Per Mike Richards commentGreat teachers may not have a problem
keeping a job but there is a massive problem in keeping great teachers in
education when the profession is treated with such disdain; when most people
look at teaching as simply a part time that deserves a part time wage; when
teachers are expected to give a world class education with 20 year old text
books, no access to the internet, the bare minimum of resources, and so much
more. I've met some amazing teachers who left the field after a few years
simply because they couldn't afford to teach anymore; it was literally
costing them more to teach than they were earning.
For those of you who think this would make education better you need to study
the situation better and get more knowledge. I am not saying it is a bad thing.
The problem is much larger and bigger than education. If we want
to truly change things, change the individuals who make the rules and design our
education system. We're still teaching education in America
the way it was modeled in 1849. I'm not kidding. There are too many
legislators and State & District Administrators who are more concerned about
holding onto their power than making a difference.Change the way we
hire and fire teachers. Start to treat teachers more like our most respected
Professions in America. Pay teachers differently and pay them an honest wage
for their professional work and ability. (I am glad to call out ANYWAY who
thinks otherwise- this is a different discussion).Change the way we
teach, the way we set up class structure (this will save millions), hold parents
MORE accountable. School should be a privilege and not a right. Tenure is such a stupid talking point if we are serious and want
"change" to make our schools/teachers better. Better is better.
@satch:Want to know another way to help the teachers and the
children? Get rid of teacher's unions...namely the National Education
Association (NEA)! Teachers Unions foster incompetence, definitely put the
children last, and are corrupt to the bone! Getting rid of a union is one thing
liberals will NOT tolerate, especially a union the size of the NEA. Think the Left really cares for kids? Think again. These children had a
simple complaint; they didn't want to be exposed to "grossly
incompetent teachers." Instead of putting the children first, and
considering what was in their best interest, the teachers and their unions
decided instead to fight them in court.Instead of dealing with the
issue of incompetent teachers that tenure and unions promote, Liberals are
moving the bogus argument to: "Oh, those poor, poor teachers...they
sacrifice so much, are paid so little, and are treated so
miserably...blah...blah...blah." Nice try, but this about the children, and
what's best for them!
@sven. What is a incompetent teacher? If a child fails or does not progress it
could be a variety of reasons that the teacher has no control over. I know
students who just didn't care. It had nothing to do with competence
of the teacher.
@ TylerLook at how vouchers have worked in Wisconsin and Florida.
They haven't improved education at all. They've served merely to be
handouts to richies and those with financial ties to private schools.Charter and private institutions don't want to diversify. Diversification
increases the risk of failure. Most chargers fail. And most private schools only
will accept the rich and gifted.@ everyone else who want to treat
educators as "any other profession"Fine. Let's do that.
But let's also allow educators to pick and choose who they'll serve. I
know of many teachers who would do better if hey could kick out minorities,
special needs students, poor students, and lazy students. So if we
want educators to be treated as small business owners, then allow them to choose
I have no problem getting rid of the poor performers. I suspect no decent
teacher does. The issue becomes do teachers then feel threatened in their jobs
all the time. A loss of some security.If so, then we will have to
pay more to get the same quality of teacher. Why? Because job security is one
of the trade offs. You get more security, a reasonable pension, you don't
require as much salary. Take those away, the demand for salary goes up. For
the best and brightest, other fields will offer similar (lack of) security and
higher pay. You either pay more or lose those folks.There is no
free lunch. We take something away, we have to give something in return.
Otherwise the deal becomes worse and, with a worse deal, you get worse
employees. Oh sure lots of those already in the system will stay - but you will
get fewer of the best in colleges now. It is simply how incentives work.
Those ranting about the teachers unions must have great experience and
tremendous knowledge on what they've done here in utah.Name 5
things the teachers unions have done to impact education negatively here in
@ Tyler... Sweden might be happy with the results, but we shouldn't be.
Vouchers might be a good idea or they might not. But we shouldn't use
Sweden as an example. Their students, like ours, are mediocre. Finland would
be a better example of what to do with teachers. But that would require a major
cultural shift in how we value teachers. They did it and boy did it pay
dividends in how their students have done. Right next door, Sweden has not done
well at all.
While everyone has an answer for crushing the teachers, I still have one
question.When all is said and done, who are we going to get to teach
the children? It isn't like there is a long line of people waiting to be
belittled, blamed, mocked, and told to be happy because they are only working 9
months of the year.
"You provided a fairly long post, but you didn't address why public
education teacher's tenure should exempt them from performance standards?
"Where did you get the idea that tenure exempts teachers from
performance standards? This couldn't be further from the truth. Tenured
teachers still have both peer and administration review. They still have their
class performance rated by end of year testing. They are still measured on
advancement of students. Tenure doesn't exempt teachers from being
reviewed and measured.It simply states that you can't summarily
fire a teacher with tenure. They have earned the right through performance to
have a review before any disciplinary action is taken. It just means a teacher
has moved from a probationary status, to a contracted status. Still can be
fired. Still is measured. The district is simply saying that if you keep doing
your job right - you will continue to have a job.So much
misinformation on this subject.
I always get a big kick out of people getting on here and ripping on teachers. I
know that my 29 years as a teacher, counselor and coach have served me well in
my growth as a human being. And for many of my colleagues who have seen drastic
changes in education these last 30 years they have also grown as people in the
service of others. But each of us has also been accused of things we
never did, or said, in those years. "Tenure" saved us because without it
we might never have gotten this far and hopefully impacted in positive ways all
those lives of kids we taught, counseled and coached. For those regaling in this
courts decision not one poster has said "I taught for X number of years and
I saw bad teachers left and right". None of you have but you go off
anecdotal information about the state of education today. I invite all of you to
come see me at Hunter High School for a week this fall and watch what educators
do. Then tell me what you would do differently.
Tenure must go, but need not be replaced with a firing squad, pun intended. In
most professions quality assurance and quality improvement (QA/QI) are integral
to their business. The educational establishments has put job security ahead of
QA/QI. The balance must be restored.
Agree with EJM. There should have been post after post of "bad"
teachers. What the "tenure" system provided in Utah is "expected
employment" for the next year unless served with a cause statement. This is
good for Utah. Without this, teachers would be allowed unemployment benefits in
the summers. By the way, there are parts of Utah public education that have
gone to year-to-year contracts: coaches. As a coach you really have no
expectation of continued employment and your job can be chosen to not renew
without cause. Think about your office or other workplace. Would you like to
be in a situation where your contract could not be renewed without cause? In
other words, you get an e-mail saying they are not renewing you for next year
and have a nice day.
" The educational establishments has put job security ahead of QA/QI.
"Where do ideas like this come from? Who is telling people that
tenured teachers aren't reviewed every year, that their work output
isn't looked at anymore? Tenure does not remove QA/QI or any other
measures from class room performance. If it did.... I would agree with the anti
tenure crowd, but this is a false argument."In other words, you
get an e-mail saying they are not renewing you for next year and have a nice
day."JMHO - unfortunately there are wide swaths of our economy
that work under this kind of an environment. And we wonder why loyalty by
employees is all but gone.
While tenure does offer protection to teachers from being fired on a whim, that
protection also applies to teachers who once were good but since have become
lazy and apathetic. In California, once a teacher has been hired on for his/her
third year at a given school, tenure is automatically given and it is nigh on
impossible to dismiss a tenured teacher for any reason less than a felony
conviction. Many administrators have tried to get rid of an apathetic teacher,
but the long, drawn-out process means that they will think at least twice before
doing it again.Also, many current teachers gained tenure years ago,
during times where evaluating teacher performance was less organized. While they
may meet the education standard of that time, some have no desire or ability to
teach according to current, researched methodologies, but because they have
tenure, they cannot be dismissed.
PLEASE learn about the teacher evaluation law in Utah created with Senator
Osmond and the UEA. You do not have the facts as it relates to Utah law. DN
interview UEA President for balanced reporting. The UEA support rigorous
teaching standards and evaluation. It is irresponsible of the DN to continue to
paint this picture without the facts as it relates to Utah. You are simply
inflaming a mind set which is not related to Utah's reality.
I've just been told, the national average price for each test, and retest
is seventy five dollars per student.No wonder teachers are under
paid.one old man--you're slipping.
Teachers have to earn tenure over the course of so many years. Bad teachers
should be let go before earning tenure (and the decision should not be made by
the principal alone). Tenure is to protect good teachers from being dismissed
without good cause. Like others have said, tenured teachers can still be let go,
it is just more of a process rather than one principal essentially just deciding
that a teacher needs to go, which happens in many cases to non tenured teachers.
And a lot of times for no other reason than them just not liking the teacher.
Tenure is a pretty fair system for all.