Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pros and Cons of Teacher Tenure posted this.  I think it is worth reading:

Pro & Cons of Teacher Tenure
By Wanda Marie Thibodeaux, eHow Contributor .
No one in any profession likes losing his job. Teachers are no exception, regardless of where or what level of education they teach. In many academic facilities, teachers are eligible for teacher tenure. On the most basic level, tenure makes it much more likely that an educator will be able to keep her job over time. However, teacher tenure is not without controversy, as there are both pros and cons to employing it.

Job Protection
One benefit of teacher tenure is that it protects teachers from being let go from their district without cause. For instance, a tenured teacher cannot be let go simply because the members of the school board want to hire someone new, or because the teacher gets results with methods that vary from what other teachers may be doing that are more popular.

Economic Firing
Many school districts have experienced budget cuts over recent years or decades. As a result, school administrators found that it was financially beneficial to the district to let go of teachers who had taught for years and to hire less experienced teachers who would work for less pay and fewer benefits. Teacher tenure guarantees that a teacher who has met satisfactory performance will not lose her position due to matters of economy.

As with other positions, teachers need to stay motivated to perform well in the classroom. However, teacher tenure may create complacency in teachers because the teachers understand that it is far less likely that they will lose their job. They may come into the classroom but put in very little effort and not truly care about the children they teach. However, this is debatable, since it can be argued that those who receive tenure are the teachers who have proven their dedication in the first place.

Teacher tenure appears to make administrators less likely to discipline educators who perform unsatisfactorily or who engage in inappropriate activity. For instance, in 2005 an investigation found that, out of more than 95,000 teachers in Illinois, only two were let go for poor performance. The same investigation found that an average of only five teachers were let go for misconduct. The educational, physical, emotional and mental well-being of students thus may be at risk with teacher tenure.

Another con to teacher tenure is that it is extremely costly for a district to let a tenured teacher go. A tenured teacher may fight a school board's decision, costing thousands in legal fees, or they may want to be "bought out" of their contract.

Read more: Pro & Cons of Teacher Tenure