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The Weekend Read
Thinking Straight About Teacher Tenure

Tenure is not the only or even the main reason that we have bad teachers in primary and secondary schools in California or elsewhere. But nevertheless, we should not shy away from asking, “Whom does tenure benefit?”

Published on: June 14, 2014
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  • Pete

    “In The Atlantic, Dana Goldstein argues that the California system of tenure is insensible and in the end indefensible.”

    Earth to Miss Dana. Tenure for public school teachers was ALWAYS indefensible from both the standpoint of the kiddies and the taxpayer, that is to say, society.

  • Anthony

    “Whom does tenure help” begs the question for commonsense informs whom it helps. The moral: doing good is a complicated business. Perhaps without intending to do so but generally via implementation tenure has incautiously created ire essay writes about – it allows routine job holders to game the system at societal detriment (but this is not distinct to teaching just more damning). Now in regard to elementary and secondary education, it is difficult to think of anything more important to a nation than the educational development of its children (all). With or without tenure said development requires (implicit educational training and skills delivery) sympathetic touch between teacher and pupil; knowledge and interest on the part of teacher of learner taught and his/her surroundings and background – essentially a contact between pupil and teacher whereby reciprocal learning and instruction is mutually reinforcing. There is as (most) know no magic, just frank acknowledgement.

  • Andrew Allison

    In my opinion, the author makes a mistake by linking primary and secondary teachers tenure with that of university professors. Their duties are very different. The job of the former is to teach, pure and simple, and there is neither need nor justification for tenure in such a job. Good teachers don’t need it. This is not to suggest that university tenure doesn’t create the adjunct labour problem to which the author alludes, but that doesn’t necessarily affect the quality of post-secondary education, If there’s one job for which the only criterion should be the results achieved by the employee, surely it’s educating our children.

  • johngbarker

    Ending tenure is the 3% solution. Other obstacles faced by poor kids are dysfunctional families, poverty, polluted environments, violence, drugs and negative peer pressure. We must move the poor out of social isolation and into the mainstream.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Vouchers are the only solution to under-performing schools. So long as the parents don’t control the money, actually educating students will remain low on our educational bureaucracy’s priorities.

    Remember Jeff Neely, patron saint of government funded bureaucracies?

  • GS

    The whole hiccuality approach is totally irrelevant. Unless one enslaves them [i.e. as long as they have a choice], whom would the better teachers rather work with? The answer I see as self-evident: with the pupils who are bright, responsive, disciplined.

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