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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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PatersonPlankton wrote:
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Especially teachers in this case who eat shit from know-nothings on message boards while working without contracts or respect. Give me a break, I feel sorru for you that you are so jaded.
...


I'm much more more jaded with public ed as a whole and it's failure to kids, than teachers specifically. Teachers are probably underpaid. They're paid around 30% less than comparable teachers overseas, while working longer hours. Plus there seem to be increasing barriers to their success with the kids, which probably includes the way standardized testing and curriculum are being implemented.

Tenure is a tough question. In private industry it only exists as golden parachutes for board-level executives. OTOH public school teachers don't really work in a free market - if they are fired they'd probably not find it easy to find a job working elsewhere in public ed for less.

Some people believe that moving to a fully free market is the right answer. Given what we've seen so far with vouchers and charters, it hasn't been a huge success and it's proven to be hugely class-divisive. It may take decades to judge whether or not it was a success, And if it fails, the US would have wasted a generation of kids education for nothing.

Other countries have very successful free public education systems that I think we could learn from. Few people though are working this middle ground between "nothing's broken" in public ed, and bypassing the intransigence through privatization.

Issues like tenure and teacher performance need to be on the table, as well as defining and measuring student success. But all I see is a polarized argument that reflects the same arguments happening with every national issue, when negotiation and compromise is obviously the better path. If it's anything I'm jaded about, it's that.

Posted on: 2014/6/19 9:46
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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You aren't allowed to say "on the other hand" unless you understand the metaphor, which you clearly do not. A "crappy dentist" as you put it would only be accountable for what happens in their office.
...


And you clearly didn't get the point - which was "on the other hand" both crappy dentists and crappy teachers can both make good money and pass the blame.

Perhaps it's just been my bad experience with dentists. Where I grew up, dentists would simply drill as many kid's teeth as possible for the revenue and repeat business. And even when I visit a good dentist these days, I can't help feeling that they're as much interested in funding their kid through college, as in the quality of their work on my teeth.

My intention wasn't to beat up on teachers or dentists though, just that it was a stupid analogy.

Posted on: 2014/6/19 8:49
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Not to mention the disturbingly cynical and somewhat pitiful idea that dentists and teachers alike are only in it for the money, and not to help others. Especially teachers in this case who eat shit from know-nothings on message boards while working without contracts or respect. Give me a break, I feel sorru for you that you are so jaded.

It's weird to see such a comment or position when your previous posts demonstrate more than a modicum of understanding re the profiteers eyeballing public ed funds. Your take on vouchers and privatization is solid as is your dedication to public free schools. Thanks for that.

Posted on: 2014/6/19 8:15
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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You aren't allowed to say "on the other hand" unless you understand the metaphor, which you clearly do not. A "crappy dentist" as you put it would only be accountable for what happens in their office. No dentist is accountable for the home-based personal care required for good dental health as known by everyone on earth and implied clearly in this image. It is that personal responsibility - brushing, flossing, studying, valuing education as a family- that is being noted here. Are you telling us that you believe dentists are responsible for whether or not their patients brush and floss their own teeth?




Posted on: 2014/6/19 8:11
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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This sums up "merit pay".


OTOH - probably pays more to be a crappy dentist for the repeat business.

Posted on: 2014/6/18 12:22
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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This sums up "merit pay".

Posted on: 2014/6/18 12:01
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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I found this article very informative about the history of public education in the US. I would urge everyone to read it, to understand where we came from - and in how little time! I was surprised to learn public education as we know it has really only been around since the mid-1800's.
http://www.ushistoryscene.com/uncategorized/riseofpubliceducation/

Clearly, as articulated by Presidents Washington and Jefferson, the underpinnings of public education are too important to tamper with - far too important to risk involvement of the "free" market. Having said that, public education also clearly served a huge segment of US society - immigrants - very well. So it's not the 'model' that's not working (lending credence the concerns of those who don't support relying more on charter schools) but something else. Lack of parental involvement? Have the unions replaced the church in terms of jealously guarding their perogatives?

Posted on: 2014/6/13 13:51
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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End-state, a universal voucher system "might" be better. But I don't see evidence of it having worked anywhere else. And there would be a lot of pain, disruption and effort to get to the point where we would know it works. What would happen?Would we sell off under-performing public schools, convert the rest to a for-profit operating model, introduce regulation to prevent local monopolies and price-gouging? And that's even assuming the parents even care enough to shop around, and not game the system by getting kick-backs. It shifts the problem to the parents, but I'd still have serious doubts the money actually reaches the kids.

I'm a big fan of universal free education. The current system totally stinks. But I'd rather see better incentives given to teachers and students on success, and cutting out the sharks in the middle that stop money reaching the kids, than tearing down and totally rebuilding what we have.

Posted on: 2014/6/13 11:32
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Listen, conceptually, I understand people's concern/hesitation about vouchers. It *will* take money away from public school funding, and that could have certain consequences. But, let's be honest. What have we achieved in NJ in terms of public schools in urban areas? Very little. We have really dismal graduation rates, and those graduating are doing so ill-equipped to move on to better lives. Is that the BEST we can achieve?

The principles and goals of a guaranteed, free public education are admirable. And, we should strive to fulfill them. But, we have failed miserably in NJ. We spend almost twice as much as other states and achieve much less. That's a recipe for disaster in the long term.

Posted on: 2014/6/13 10:24
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Paterson is spot on with the vouchers. Their existence is designed around destroying the public school funding as it simply takes the money currently used for that and allocates some of it towards private schools.

The concept of public schools is that every child is entitled to the best form of education possible up to a certain age. If you then switch to vouchers and push kids towards private school, where are the controls? Can you see how Walmart High School would be formed with a specific slant in education?

As it stands now, the wealthy aren’t actually paying for a better education. What they are paying for is to be away from other youths that grow up in environments that don’t value education as much. It’s a class system of sorts, but one they pay a premium to be a part of. Vouchers would only take money from the public school while those same private schools would charge the voucher premium.

Posted on: 2014/6/13 9:56
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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The cucumber comparison was more in tongue in cheek, I think. But, I am curious: do you not see the disconnect in your reply?

Quote:

Having one privately run voucher mill that serves kids who only have the voucher, and another for the rich kids who have the voucher plus whatever else their parents can afford, is a recipe for economic apartheid of the most foul kind.


So, what's different with the current system?? That some middle class parents CAN'T escape the public school fiasco? Because, let's be honest... Right now, parents in JC who can afford to do so, will send their kids to private school once they finish grade school, unless that kid can get into McNair. You already have what you called "economic apartheid". With vouchers, you are just allowing some more middle class parents to be able to secure a better education for their kids. But, of course, I guess it is a lot easier to pull down others than it is to pull yourself up. That's the tragedy of America today...

Posted on: 2014/6/13 7:33
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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What's truly shocking here is that anyone would compare a school to a cucumber. As for vouchers, they have had literally decades t o prove their worth and have not done so one bit. That's why NJ voters currently oppose vouchers 2 to 1.

Neighborhood schools are a cornerstone of American communities. Having one privately run voucher mill that serves kids who only have the voucher, and another for the rich kids who have the voucher plus whatever else their parents can afford, is a recipe for economic apartheid of the most foul kind.

And ultimately, when you turn any endeavor into a profit-making enterprise, the priority is profit, and growth, which is a demand of success in so-called "free marker" constructs. In this case, your utopian voucher world will produce schools that are constantly trying to figure out how to make more money while giving customers (aka little kids) progressively less and less. It's an automated race to the bottom, where rich kids will get great educations, and everyone else will just get what they can afford. That is flatly un-American, as we as a country have decided that a free and appropriate public education is not only a right but a public good.

Posted on: 2014/6/12 21:00
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Personally, I'm not a big fan of the various semi-privatization schemes. We should be supporting public education. There is room for experimentation and such, but the fetishization of charters, vouchers has not improved education. But that's not really why it's all done.

My point is simply that if we believe it should be easier to fire teachers in the name of the children, then why is it not the children (or their parents) that actually have the power? But a lawsuit by a disgruntled principal or "regional director" wouldn't have the same panache.

Posted on: 2014/6/12 12:52
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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If the right to a quality education belongs to the student, then by logic the ability to enforce that right should belong to the student and his/her family. Do we want a regime where parents have hiring/firing authority over teachers? A novel idea, but I'm not sure how well it would work. There have been proposals to allow "parent triggers" that would convert a public school to a charter if enough parents demand it.


It is just amazing that instead of saying "hey, let's just give each child an education voucher for 10K a year and let them decide where to buy an education with it", - you keep trying to pile on some triggers, and committees, and conversion to charter schemas and so on. It is quite phenomenal that you do not try to remove the stupid decision that created the problem in the first place, - but try to invent some new mechanism around it, and then another one on top, and then another, - till the whole thing is one humongous bureaucratic mess with many layers of committees, commissions, regulatory authorities, and so on.

When you buy cucumbers, - do you need some inventive way to help you choose the ones you like? Do you try to design some "regime" where you have an authority over which store to go to, and which cucumber to pick? Or do you just pick the store, pick the cucumber and pay for it?

I mean, even if you want to subsidize cucumbers, you'd use food stamps, aka food voucher, - not some Government Cucumber Authority!

Ah, sorry, I forgot, the Party is subservient to the Union, so no, everything must be done to serve teachers first.

Posted on: 2014/6/12 9:23
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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I'd say the whining around here is pretty legit, at least in some parts of Hudson County. With eight years of experience, a typical teacher in East Newark, in Hudson County, makes $44,087. But my salary guide from working there states that BA step 1 is a humble $38,000. Oh and employees' families aren't privy to those "bennies" you mentioned until the FIFTH year of employment.


4 year old data says the median Hudson County teacher makes $57,467, the average being $63,154.

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... achers_median_salary.html

More recent 2013 data: "In New Jersey, Hudson County had the highest average teacher salary -- $72,626" http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/13/11/14/school-salaries/

Not bad for 180 odd days of work, and great benefits, even if they have to wait till they vest or whatever. Almost no one gets pensions anymore except these kinds of civil servant. I know a supervising social worker with an Ivy MSW and 20+ years of experience who doesn't make more than that current average, gets no retirement bennies and has to kick in significantly to the healthcare. He often wonders why he didn't go into teaching.


Posted on: 2014/6/11 23:29
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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It amuses me that the same teachers unions who applauded the judicial Abbott decision are so offended by another judicial decision (this time really for the minority students) that threatens their job security over job performance.

Is it, or is it not, about the kids?

Posted on: 2014/6/11 23:06
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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JPhurst wrote:
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The flaw in the decision is that it assumes that the student's right to a quality education is served by giving a mid-level non-policy making government administrator/bureaucrat (that is what principals and district administrators, distilled to their essence, actually are) unfettered discrimination in hiring (though not REALLY unfettered, because the judge is just asking the legislature to tweak the law). It always amazes me that the conservative/libertarian types who decry teachers unions don't trust government to do anything correctly, but DO trust government officials to efficiently manage the education workforce.
...


Well put. And picking away at public ed issues piecemeal like this, gives rise to other issues. A teacher fired for "bad" performance would have little hope of re-entry into public ed, whereas someone in the private sector can typically go to another firm and offer their services for less.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 20:54
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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I read the entire decision, and it's pretty light on any analysis. Having said, that it's important to recognize that the decision does not abolish any of the criticized practices. The judge stayed his mandate, recognizing that the legislature would have to act to fix what he deemed deficient. Two years to tenure is very short compared to most states, so they have to go back and add a year. The hearing process takes a long time, so speed it up. There needs to be some accounting for quality, so factor that along with the seniority system.

Tenure makes it more difficult to fire bad teachers. It also makes it more difficult to fire good teachers. The flaw in the decision is that it assumes that the student's right to a quality education is served by giving a mid-level non-policy making government administrator/bureaucrat (that is what principals and district administrators, distilled to their essence, actually are) unfettered discrimination in hiring (though not REALLY unfettered, because the judge is just asking the legislature to tweak the law). It always amazes me that the conservative/libertarian types who decry teachers unions don't trust government to do anything correctly, but DO trust government officials to efficiently manage the education workforce.

If the right to a quality education belongs to the student, then by logic the ability to enforce that right should belong to the student and his/her family. Do we want a regime where parents have hiring/firing authority over teachers? A novel idea, but I'm not sure how well it would work. There have been proposals to allow "parent triggers" that would convert a public school to a charter if enough parents demand it.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 19:26
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Given the public school system isn't really a free market, there is a case for tenure, or some form of job security that would be considered outrageous in private industry.

As far as pay goes, I'd like to see some way of tying teachers pay to student's earnings after they graduate. If their students make a fortune, their teachers share in that success in the form of a percent of student's tax returns, if the students make nothing, the teacher gets nothing except a low base. Figuring the mechanics of that would be tricky though - lowest earners, lowest test scores, lower-grade teachers...

Posted on: 2014/6/11 18:20
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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brewster wrote:
Quote:

Pebble wrote:
Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:
Thank God. New Jersey, you're next!

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ca ... her-job-security-24070436

Why are you thankful for this? Do you think that nobody should have any job security or that the education of our future should be left up to those making the least money.

Some things are just beyond stupid.


Where's your argument as to why teachers, out of all the many jobs in our economy, should be unfireable? Everybody else I know is accountable for the job they do. And at least around here, they make plenty of money for the hours and vacations they get. Sure, there are places in the crappy parts of the USA where they get $40k, but that doesn't account the whining around here. I know plenty of professionals with masters and 25 years experience that don't come closer to a NJ PS teacher with that seniority, and nowhere near the bennies.


I'd say the whining around here is pretty legit, at least in some parts of Hudson County. With eight years of experience, a typical teacher in East Newark, in Hudson County, makes $44,087. But my salary guide from working there states that BA step 1 is a humble $38,000. Oh and employees' families aren't privy to those "bennies" you mentioned until the FIFTH year of employment.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 17:36
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Students did not sue. This suit was financed by a Silicon Valleu mogul with zero education experience. Another ultra-wealthy aristocrat who thinks his wealth entitles him to decide what is best for other people's children.

"On its face, Vergara v. California was the case of nine students fighting a practice designed to protect educators' academic freedom that now occasionally entrenches terrible teachers. However, the case was part of a larger shell game orchestrated by one Silicon Valley tech mogul."

http://valleywag.gawker.com/silicon-v ... -1588947329/+laceydonohue

Posted on: 2014/6/11 17:34
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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It is also subjective on who is incompetent. When my second grader attended school, I thought he did not have enough homework. It was done in ten minutes or less. As I waited in line during report card night, parents aheaded of me, complained to the teacher, their child had too much homework. When it was my turn to speak, I felt silly complaining about the lack of homework, so I told the teacher he enjoyed her class, which was true. I later found he was doing the homework as he was copying the assignments off the board.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 13:41
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Yvonne wrote:
In the early 1970s, I did my student teaching in a North Hudson High school, all the talk in the teacher's lounge was about who supported what candidate and who will be in favor. As I stated earlier, tenure protects teachers who supported losing candidates. We will eventually spending taxpayers dollars on lawsuits if tenure is done away.


Unfortunately we probably already spend lots more taxpayer dollars trying to fire horrible incompetent teachers. The LA Superintendent testified it took two years and $250,000 - $400,000 of taxpayer money to fire a single incompetent tenured teacher.

This is why Obama's Education Secretary said this decision is a "mandate" to reform broken teacher tenure laws all around the country.

Once students in NJ sue, we will find out the true taxpayer cost of removing incompetent teachers. I suspect it won't be very different from California. Luckily we are finally making progress as a society on this important issue.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 13:02
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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In the early 1970s, I did my student teaching in a North Hudson High school, all the talk in the teacher's lounge was about who supported what candidate and who will be in favor. As I stated earlier, tenure protects teachers who supported losing candidates. We will eventually spending taxpayers dollars on lawsuits if tenure is done away.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 12:52
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Monroe wrote:
Quote:

Pebble wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
The statistic of tenured teachers being fired for poor performance (at least in NJ) is amazingly low. I don't have the number at hand, but as I recall it's less than 10/year.

I'd like to see rolling contracts, maybe 3-5 years at a shot, so they can have a chance to improve if put on warning.

Are the numbers low because administrators are too lazy to go through a hiring process or are they low because there are not that many teachers performing poorly?

Saying that people aren't getting fired without any qualification as to why is a bit silly.


In ten years that were studied, only 47 of the over 100,000 tenured teachers were fired for performance reasons in NJ.

(We're not counting teachers that engaged in sexual relation with students, or assaulted students, or other non-teaching issues).

So yes, there isn't an efficient way to rid the system of the few teachers that don't serve our student and/or taxpayers well apparently.

After all, shouldn't it be about the kids?

“Good” and “bad” are qualitative. I had a writing teacher which I found to be exceptionally good. My grades were excellent. I had a friend who had her the same year. He hated her and wanted her fired.

Who is right? Who is wrong?

How can you state that there were more poor teachers that should have been fired?

Quote:

brewster wrote:
Can anyone explain why teachers need protections over and above that which any unionized worker gets? The union should protect from any capricious or age based firing. Seniority isn't tenure, and seniority doesn't make you unfireable for incompetence. Even other government workers don't get "tenure".

I have a friend who briefly taught in JC and has stories of virtually no-show staff and absolute apathy.

Teachers don’t really have protection. Tenure merely protects against termination for no reason. It’s the wrong assumption that tenured teachers cannot be fired.

Quote:

JCMan8 wrote:
Like most people with sense, the liberal Daily News is 100% behind this decision abolishing tenure because it is in the best interest of the kids.

It also notes that the same logic could apply in New York.

New Jersey, are you next?

http://m.nydailynews.com/opinion/just ... s-article-1.1824555#bmb=1

Yup… only people with sense. It couldn’t possibly be that there are legitimate reasons (of which I’ve provided). Nope… no sense…

Posted on: 2014/6/11 12:11
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Like most people with sense, the liberal Daily News is 100% behind this decision abolishing tenure because it is in the best interest of the kids.

It also notes that the same logic could apply in New York.

New Jersey, are you next?

http://m.nydailynews.com/opinion/just ... s-article-1.1824555#bmb=1

Posted on: 2014/6/11 10:22
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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The saying is "All politics are local," with that saying in mind, tenure protected teachers who supported the losing candidate.

Posted on: 2014/6/11 9:29
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Can anyone explain why teachers need protections over and above that which any unionized worker gets? The union should protect from any capricious or age based firing. Seniority isn't tenure, and seniority doesn't make you unfireable for incompetence. Even other government workers don't get "tenure".

I have a friend who briefly taught in JC and has stories of virtually no-show staff and absolute apathy.

Posted on: 2014/6/10 18:45
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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Pebble wrote:
Quote:

Monroe wrote:
The statistic of tenured teachers being fired for poor performance (at least in NJ) is amazingly low. I don't have the number at hand, but as I recall it's less than 10/year.

I'd like to see rolling contracts, maybe 3-5 years at a shot, so they can have a chance to improve if put on warning.

Are the numbers low because administrators are too lazy to go through a hiring process or are they low because there are not that many teachers performing poorly?

Saying that people aren't getting fired without any qualification as to why is a bit silly.


In ten years that were studied, only 47 of the over 100,000 tenured teachers were fired for performance reasons in NJ.

(We're not counting teachers that engaged in sexual relation with students, or assaulted students, or other non-teaching issues).

So yes, there isn't an efficient way to rid the system of the few teachers that don't serve our student and/or taxpayers well apparently.

After all, shouldn't it be about the kids?

Posted on: 2014/6/10 18:16
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Re: California Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional
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If a lawsuit is brought in NJ, it will be by students. Then we'll find out the truth about tenure.

If you are actually correct about being able to fire tenured teachers for a justifiable reason (highly doubtful), then the teachers will have nothing to worry about. But if NJ is anything close to CA, bye bye tenure.

As the CA case shows, this is all about the best interests of the students. It shocks the conscience for students to be stuck with atrocious teachers who cannot be removed because of tenure.

So well see what happens here in NJ. Either way we all have the best interest of the kids in mind.

Posted on: 2014/6/10 17:16
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