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A DETAILED LOOK AT THE PROBLEMS WITH TENURE By Emily Arnold

Tenure restraints us from properly evaluating teachers, because it gives teachers a privilege that makes them often immune to certain evaluation procedures, such as performance and behavior standards. The principles of tenure include job security and fair dismissal procedures, which are good and beneficial for teachers. However, the ways to designate which teachers earn tenure, as well as the advantages teachers attain because of their granted tenure privileges need to be reevaluated. According to Sandi Jacobs, Vice President of the National Council on Teacher Quality, "What's become so problematic about tenure is that it's awarded almost automatically, without regard to performance in student learning (Greenblatt). Awarding teachers for being employed at a school for a certain length of time is not proper criteria for earning tenure; rather, it is important that teachers are granted tenure based on their success as a teacher, not simply seniority. Tenure has the ability to breed disengaged instructors losing any type of competitive setting in the workplace, and it consequently becomes challenging and costly to remove ineffective teachers. Unfortunately, these ineffective teachers jobs are secure, while fresh and passionate new teachers have trouble finding work (Bakst). The current tenure system also contradicts itself. Claiming to represent a system of due process and fairness, data has shown that among the major race and ethnicity groups, a higher proportion of White workers had at least 10 years of tenure with their current employer than did Black, Asian, and Hispanic workers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This data, gathered in 2012, also showed that women with younger children

have lower tenure than mothers with older children. The unfairness in granting tenure is just one of the problems that the tenure system in place poses. The tenure system lacks uniformity. In Colorado, previous to the passage of their Tenure Reform Bill in 2010, there [was] no state-mandated limit on the number of bad evaluations before dismissal (Banchero). A lack of any type system for firing teachers can bring about unwanted and costly law suits or simply the ignorance of the poor teacher, leading to a failed education system lacking integrity and competitiveness. In recent years, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have each fired fewer than 1 out of 1,000 tenured teachers (McGuinn). The problem is not that our country needs to fire tenured teachers. The problem is that our country needs to pay more attention to teachers by holding them accountable for their actions, and not make inappropriate actions excusable just because the teacher has tenure.

Works Cited Bakst, Laura. The Tenure Debate. Woodbury Gazette. Highland Mills, New York. 03 March 2011. Banchero, Stephanie. Teacher-Evaluation Bill Approved in Colorado. The Washington Street Journal. 14 May 2010. Greenblatt, Alan. Is Teacher Tenure Still Necessary? Npr.com. 29 April 2013. McGuinn, Patrick. Ringing the Bell for K-12 Teacher Tenure Reform. www.americanprogress.org, Feb 2010. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Tenure of American Workers. United States Department of Labor. Sept 2013.