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Opinion: Why I Wrote a Novel About Tenure

Opinion: Why I Wrote a Novel About Tenure

Tenure is a popular topic of conversation in the education world, and some experienced teachers are sharing their opinions.

Lee Kronert, 32-veteran teacher and author of a pro-teacher, pro-tenure novel, "Don't Blame the Messenger," shared his views on tenure in an article on TheHuffingtonPost.com.

"I believe that teachers [the overwhelmingly vast majority] are the good guys!" Kronert said. "We love our students, know our students better than the State Ed. Department, know their capabilities, know when we are teaching material that is over their heads and I even believe that we teachers are the most qualified to test and evaluate our students! We are the good guys."

Kronert said there is a problem when it comes to tenure: "we find ourselves under the jurisdiction of the state education department."

"Do I think these guys are evil people? No, I do not," Kronert said. "I just think that they are not as highly qualified as the teachers when it comes to reaching and teaching kids. I will tell you what else I think: I think they are out to get us! So I wrote a novel about it."

Kronert said that he doesn't think "that these ambiguous, difficult state exams are about the kids or about how much they are learning."

"I am not opposed to the concept of the Common Core. It's the tests which concern me," he said. "I think the whole purpose of the tests is to show that we, the teachers, are not reaching today's youth and here's the proof. Look at these low scores! The low scores can now be used as a means to grade teachers as effective or ineffective. The low scores can be used to raise an eyebrow and make the public wonder: What's the matter with these teachers? The next conclusion is a no-brainer. These teachers whose students gain low test scores must be lousy at what they do. Let's fire them! Oh, that's right. They can't be fired because of tenure. Well then, let's get rid of this archaic, outdated tenure. And while we're at it, let's see if we can break this strong teachers' Union along with it."

At the end of his novel, Kronert said, he offers "this opinion to the state education departments of the United States: Get out of the way!"

"We need the money you have but we do not need your scripted lesson plans, your apparent philosophy that all kids are the same and can learn the same material in a designated period of time, nor do we need your exams," he said. "We teachers know how to make up tests based upon the material we taught them in the classroom. We are very familiar with the unique learning capabilities of our students! Please, state Ed. departments, get out of our way, leave us alone and allow us to teach these kids as we have been trained best!"

Kronert said his message "is what I am trying to represent and I hope to see the sales of my novel reach not only teachers but the public who need to learn the truth about what is really going on."

"I decided to write an entertaining story so that people could not only learn about the reality of education, (according to me), but also relax and enjoy a good plot," he said. "I believe with all my heart that in the end, the teachers of the United States will win!"

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor 

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