The War on Teacher Tenure
It’s really difficult to fire a bad teacher. A group of Silicon Valley investors wants to change that.
On a warm day in early June, a Los Angeles County trial-court judge, Rolf M. Treu…dropped a bombshell on the American public-school system. Ruling in Vergara v. California, Treu struck down five decades-old California laws governing teacher tenure and other job protections on the grounds that they violate the state’s constitution.
In his 4,000-word decision, he bounded through an unusually short explanation of what was an unprecedented interpretation of the law. Step 1: Tenure and other job protections make it harder to fire teachers and therefore effectively work to keep bad ones in the classroom. Step 2: Bad teachers “substantially undermine” a child’s education. That, Treu wrote, not only “shocks the conscience” but also violates the students’ right to a “basic equality of educational opportunity” as enshrined in California’s constitution…
…What happened next was predictable: the educational establishment hit DEFCON 1.
We Respond & Your Comments
We’ve touched on the subject of teacher tenure before (Lane Solutions, Issue 71), but we revisit it here for two reasons.
First, the writer of this Time article does an exceptional job of presenting opposing opinions on this controversial subject. Second, because, as this article reports, a lawsuit designed to eliminate teacher tenure may be coming soon to Oregon.
So we encourage you to click on the above link and take a few minutes to read this article. Be sure to also click on the responses at the end, witness the education establishment hitting DEFCON 1 and then ask yourself why the elimination of lifetime tenure for teachers drives them so crazy.