Public School Education's Biggest Problem
Education initiatives in the United States never seem to amount to an improvement in public school education. There is one thing that will drastically improve the education that students in public schools receive - Abolish tenure. Are the teacher's unions so powerful that our kids are put at risk?
There is no reason that teachers of grades 1-12 need tenure. Tenure originally was instituted in University's so that professors would not have to worry about getting fired for teaching controversial
theories. Grade school teachers are given so little leeway in what they teach because of standardized testing, that tenure surely isn't necessary at this level.
However, the harm to students from tenure can be drastic. I've personally seen many older teachers that have lost their passion and interest in teaching, stay in their job for the retirement benefits. Even parental complaints don't help because principals are scared of starting large complicated legal actions, which tenure makes necessary.
Sometimes the problem is that students not learning as much as they should be. However, even worse are teachers that emotionally abuse students and nothing can be done about it. Students may be scarred for life, but heaven forbid teachers don't get job safety. For years, when my kids were in grades 1-6, where they have one teacher for the entire day, my friends and I would wait anxiously to find out which teachers our kids were assigned for the upcoming year. We would pity those that got the "bad" teachers.
Almost no other jobs have tenure. Why do teachers deserve more protection than almost any other profession? The real question is - who is more important, our students or our teachers? Should we sacrifice our kids so that some incompetent teacher can keep his or her job? I think we all know the answer, so why is nothing being done? Please, end tenure, save our kids!
Original 50-something Moms Blog Post by Jennifer Wagner who also writes at the New York Parenting Teens Examiner and Connect with your Teens through Pop Culture and Technology