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Opinion: Why Tenure Should Be Supported

Opinion: Why Tenure Should Be Supported

Teacher tenure has been a very hot topic among government officials, those running for office, parents and educators in classrooms across the country.

The debate over teacher tenure has been increasing, especially the last couple of weeks after TIME released its Nov. 3 magazine cover, leaving teachers outraged. In response, Lee Kronert, a math teacher from New York, shared his views on teacher tenure in an article on HechingerReport.org titled, "Against Tenure? Here's Why You Might Want to Make an Exception for Your Child's Teacher."

"Granting lifetime tenure is not the best way to run a business," he said. "In fact, the CEO at the bank has it within his power to dismiss a worker if he doesn't like that employee’s work. However, that same banker cannot apply that rule to his child’s teacher who is not performing to his expectations in dealing with his child’s raucous classroom behavior."

Kronert said that the public school teacher "is a mirror," and "parents see the reflection of their children when a teacher shares the truth about what he or she witnesses in the classroom."

"When the teacher holds up the mirror, some parents do not like what they see," he said. "Some will even deny the image and blame the teacher."

In today's classroom, he said, "there are a number of children who misbehave, refuse to complete work, skip class, and disrupt the atmosphere of learning."

"Tenure is being attacked from all sides, including via the Common Core," Kronert said. "The controversy surrounds the importance placed on state exams. A teacher’s personal evaluation score is now partially based upon what percentage of students pass this particularly difficult test. The exam itself is poorly written, ambiguous and changes every year, leaving teachers in the dark about what topics will be stressed."

Kronert said "the motive for Common Core State Standards is to bolster the fight against teacher tenure by assigning unfair 'ineffective' labels to teachers hampered by the system."

"People think tenure for a teacher implies lifetime job security. It does not," he said. "Tenure insures that teachers receive due process...Tenure also shields them from the constant attacks against not only their teaching ability but often their character."

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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