I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Would I Lie To You?

Via NJ Left Behind: when it comes to tenure, the school boards tell teachers, "Trust us."
While expediting the tenure hearing process would have some benefit, it doesn’t get to the root of the situation... NJSBA supports replacing the current system of lifetime tenure with renewable contracts, with continuation of tenure based on performance. Tenure was established in 1909. Since then, a body of case law and statute has developed that protects teachers from arbitrary dismissal and discrimination. Plus, collective bargaining in education–not a factor when the tenure laws were enacted–provides additional protection in areas such as disciplinary procedures and grievance arbitration. [Emphasis mine]
So don't worry that the nephew of the mayor gets your job of 20 years just because some incredibly unreliable VAM measure puts you on the chopping block.

Don't worry that you'll have to make contributions to the State Senator's campaign to keep your position.

Don't worry that you won't be able to teach controversial theories that may anger influential parents - stuff like whether evolution is real.

Don't worry that you will be cut loose if you make too much money for a younger, less-expensive teacher.

See, there's lots of case law and statute - you can always go to court! Won't that be fun and inexpensive...

Basically, the NJSBA position is: "We want to be able to fire teachers when we want, for whatever we want. If they don't like it, they can go to court."

What a disaster of a policy. Tenure keeps politics out of schools. Everyone agrees it shouldn't protect bad teachers, but it shouldn't allow teacher dismissal without due process. Streamlining the process gives us the best of both worlds.

That the NJSBA rejects this premise tells us a lot...

If we are against tenure because we want to cut teacher pay,
may lightning strike me dead!

(Jazzman, your little cultural references are getting increasingly obscure and outdated....)

No comments: