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  • #1
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    I'm against tenure. I would like to se teacher pay increased to attract a much higher quality of teacher. I also would like to see less government interference in our schools.
  • #28
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    Agreed. Local control of schools would mean states and localities could choose to pay more and attract better teachers, as well as choose better methods of teaching our kids, rather than the cookie cutter federal program that doesn't take into account any cultural or regional differences, and focuses on how to think rather than actual learning anything.

    Last school year, my son was told that under the "new program" (Common Core), he could fail every assignment and still pass the class and grade. Is that some kind of "standard"? At the same time, some of our kid's best teachers from grade school bailed on public school and are now teaching at private school, or left teaching altogether, ahead of the institution of "Common Core".

    Everyone seems to know that as Federal control over eduction has increased, our educational system has increasingly failed....yet no one in education is smart enough to make the connection? Instead of going back to what worked, the government answer is MORE federal control? When has that worked, EVER?

    The Federal level Department of Education is a failure. It's time to abolish it and return schools to state and local control.
  • #72
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    What makes it fair for teachers and government employees to have better employment protection than the rest of the working people in this country? If fair is truly fair then all we really need is the labor relation board enforcing a fair labor standard.
  • #77
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    I agree that we are never going to attract quality teachers into a profession with a starting salary under $30K. Tenure is the only attractive thing about the teaching profession, and tenure is just wrong, as is the last-in first-out rule. The anti-tax crowd is gutting the teaching profession. I don't have kids, but I still vote for every single school levy, because good schools make good neighborhoods.
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  • #2
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    If you're a good teacher, it is in your interest to be paid for it up front, not in the back end with tenure and pensions. The back-loaded compensation system we have now attracts the wrong element and hurts the kids; get rid of it.

    What's the justification for teachers being public employees, anyhow?
  • #6
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    @BravoJuliet It's hard to tell who's cranial xray that is but if it's Homer Simpson I don't think he'd vote for Barry. He might be a little weird but he does have good family values, disciplines his kids, takes care of his home, has a job and is faithful to Marge.
  • #17
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    @DontBlameMe2
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    If he is an independent (you pointed out conservative values not liberal traits) and did not vote for the owebomb how did he manage to raise a daughter (Lisa) who is extremely socialist (the kind who wants you to pay for her sexual activity) and is the type who would vote for the owebomb many times if possible.
    .
    .
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  • #11
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    Another reason unions have failed. They're should be no job guarantee without being tied to job performance. Just because you did something right for a couple years shouldn't equate to a guaranteed pay check for life without the possibility for being fired for poor performance.
  • #24
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    While I agree with your statement "They're (sic) should be no job guarantee without being tied to job performance", how does oneactually go about rating a tteacher's performance? Standardized testing has been shown to be a poor rating system. Grades can(and have) been manipulated. And classroom observations are purely subjective.

    I don't know what the right answer is, I'm just asking for your thoughts.
  • #64
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    Tenure didn't come from unions. It is a system originally used in colleges. Public K-12 schools shouldn't be using a tenure system at all, IMO, but don't blame unions for it (there are plenty of other things we can blame them for).

    I don't think anyone deserves a guaranteed job. Teachers should be required to stay "on the ball" just like the rest of us if they want to stay employed.
  • #65
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    @mtkopf - When my son was in school, I paid close attention to what he was learning and how it was being taught, and could spot a crappy teacher at 20 paces, so to speak. But that's just me.
  • #103
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    Sure, enact that law in even one state. Then report back in 5 or 10 years on your success in recruiting good teachers. And esp on how much you have to pay to attract them.
  • #104
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    @Denizen_Kate

    Send them well fed kids with parents who take time to spend with them and encourage them and help with homework. Otherwise, every complaint you have is meaningless.
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  • #5
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    Public schools used to be a guaranteed ticket out of poverty for the poor. But labor union contracts make firing bad teachers impossible, so they're all put in low income schools where parents often just want a babysitter during the day instead. So yes abolish tenure but also union contracts that force good teachers out or up into admin office instead of rewarding good classroom work.
    Parents are failing more than schools. Society no longer shames single parents, which is a major cause of failing students. Of course there's exceptions everywhere. Mental illness is another politically correct excuse. Nobody says to parents they're the problem. If we had a president instead if an excuse maker, single parenthood wouldn't still be cool in America.
  • #12
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    I agree with what you say about tenure and the union, which needs to go. It doesn't help anybody except the worst of teachers. However, we also need to pay teachers much better, including in low income areas, to provide incentive for highly educated and talented people to go into the field.

    Blaming the president for single parenthood, which has been a major issue in this country for decades, is comical. I don't think I need to explain why...lol.
  • #20
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    "If we had a president instead if an excuse maker, single parenthood wouldn't still be cool in America."

    That little gem of ignorance right there pretty much negates anything else you have to say about anything.

    It does show, however, that public schools do fail people.
  • #66
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    "Society no longer shames single parents, which is a major cause of failing students."

    As a single parent myself, I'm calling MAJOR bullsh!t on that statement. How insulting can you be? And why the EFF should society shame people like me, oh "holier than thou"?
  • #68
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    @Now_What Im fine with paying a teacher well. However in many cases they are already paid well. The starting salary is often low though. For instance the lowest average salary is about 40k and that's in South Dakota. But the highest starting salary is 48k in New Jersey these are per the NEA.
    So with a starting Salary of 27k - 48k but an average salary of 40k -73k we can see that the tenure effect on pay is significant. yes you should be rewarded for a good job over time but I think the starting salary should be better and the increases should scale smaller.
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  • #3
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    Quid pro quo....x versus y........this is how teacher tenure plays out on the public stage. It just depends upon who is speaking when you hear an opinion. I personally see both good and bad in teacher tenure. After talking to educators and parents in my family as well as being a parent myself...and reading or listening to whatever is said I can see no real reason to end teacher tenure. What I see is the need to change it and take it out of the hand of teachers' unions. I think the real villain in all of this is the union. But, for sure THE REAL VICTIMS HERE ARE OUR CHILDREN.
  • #110
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    " I think the real villain in all of this is the union. "

    As I said to someone else in this discussion:

    There are plenty of school systems in this country that don't have their teachers under contract. Only three states have 100% under contract. So, show us. Fix one no contract schools system, just one. Prove it can be done. Show us how to do it.

    Or, show that the school systems without contracts are overall better than those with contracts. Remember, without a contract a union has absolutely zero power to impede a school district from whatever they want to do.

    If it's the unions, then explain why the 5 states with zero teacher union contracts, or the 6 more states with less than 5% of teachers under contract, or the 6 more with 1/3rd of their teachers under contract, don't have greatly superior schools. Or do you really think they do? If you could show that you could have all the unions out tomorrow.

    Or go to the 47 states who don't have all their teachers under union contracts. Only three states are 100% unionized. So, if you think you have the answer, without unions, fix just one non-union school system and show us how it's done.
  • #118
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    @BobFromDist9 Don't change the subject...the issue here is not contracts...it is TENURE.
    Tenure should not be a real contractual issue. Tenure is an employment status that was once earned in the first few years of employment by being an excellent teacher. But, today it is awarded to unworthy teachers due to nepotism, politics, etc. And, too often, it is awarded based on union participation.
    Teachers in right to work states enjoy the benefits of tenure whether they join the union or not. They also enjoy the benefits of a personal contract between themselves and the school district without intervention by the union. And, for sure the contract between the union and the school district does little more than create the general work atmosphere at the schools.
  • #170
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    @seedtick

    "Don't change the subject...the issue here is not contracts...it is TENURE. "

    Try to think more than a fraction of an inch deep. The constant complaint is the unions who supposedly force this. You are the one who posted this, aren't you?

    " I think the real villain in all of this is the union. "

    And that is what I responded to.

    "Tenure should not be a real contractual issue. Tenure is an employment status that was once earned in the first few years of employment by being an excellent teacher. But, today it is awarded to unworthy teachers due to nepotism, politics, etc. And, too often, it is awarded based on union participation. "

    The link you gave disproves what you just said immediately above. Tenure is granted after a probationary period. Being an excellent teacher is unlikely in the first few years due to lack of experience. Since only a fraction of teachers can be top level teachers, that's simple statistics, being a good teacher seems to be the requirement.

    "Teachers in right to work states enjoy the benefits of tenure whether they join the union or not. They also enjoy the benefits of a personal contract between themselves and the school district without intervention by the union."

    So, why did you say the union is the real villain?

    And since when do teachers get personal contracts? Aren't they typically standard contracts?

    " And, for sure the contract between the union and the school district does little more than create the general work atmosphere at the schools. "

    Which tells us nothing.

    The point I made, which apparently you missed entirely, is, if you think you can fix the schools, do it. Don't make excuses about unions, because the unions CANNOT STOP YOU. So, instead of BSing about what's wrong with the schools, show us you can fix them. You being the Republican party, the anti-union reformers, all those who think they know what's wrong.
  • #176
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    @BobFromDist9 Before you read any further, understand something....I AM A DEMOCRAT. I've probably been on longer than you have. I am not a liberal or a progressive.
    You just keep going off on a tangent. We've gone from teacher tenure to accusing me of claiming to know how to solve all the problems of schools. Well, I don't....but I do understand how to manage people in a fair unbiased manner and insure that they do the job they get paid to do.
    Now, each teacher does get a personal contract. It is between them and the school district. There is absolutely no need for a union to get involved. If a teacher has tenure so much the better. But, keep the union out of it.
    Don't get me wrong, I believe a person should be able to join a union if they wish, but they should not be forced to join one. That is the beauty of "right to work." You will not change my mind on this...I learned through experience about unions.
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  • #42
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    No, Tenure is counter-productive to our educational system. Teachers should be paid based on performance and merit, not on the number of years they have been employed by a school district. Root out the lousy first, then the mediocre. Require teacher proficiency testing and leave control in the hands of local school districts.
  • #135
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    I just told you how it can be done. Kick out the feds (who screw up everything they touch) and return control to local districts. Eject the dead weight, of which there is an abundance and promote and retain on MERIT. Proficiency testing is made a REQUIREMENT as is continuing education. The union hacks will not be happy, but it isn't about them, is it?
  • #39
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    Education costs are high. College profs are getting wealthy and this reflects in those costs. Tenure is the golden idol, once obtained you need to commit murder to get fired, maybe not even then. For elementary and high school teachers the unions pretty much dictate to the administrators. Tenure is kings and kids get dumber.
  • #152
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    @magnacarta

    Until you can find another way to give teachers some sort of job security, I see tenure as necessary.

    Or do you really believe school authorities will never fire a more expensive teacher to replace him with a less expensive teacher. Or do you believe a teacher who challenges bad practices wont' be fired?
  • #159
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    @BobFromDist9 What makes teaching any different then any other job. People in other positions get rewarded or fired depending on merit or behavior. My experience in and out of union businesses, I saw marginal performers still keeping there jobs, but raises may be at a minimum level. Only poor performance, or flagrant behavior was a fire-able offense, and in some union sites even that wasn't enough. Layoffs are no different and it has more to do with a companies finances or the general economy. I don't see this proliferate in schools since tax payers finance schools.
  • #182
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    @magnacarta

    "What makes teaching any different then any other job."

    The importance of what they do. Every other job is filled with people who were taught by teachers.

    " People in other positions get rewarded or fired depending on merit or behavior. "

    They also get fired because the manager want's to bring in his relative or buddy. They also get fired because the manager is afraid because the worker is better than the manager. They also get fired because the manager doesn't like their politics. They also get fired for a lot of reasons other than ability to do the job. That's why other jobs have unions, if they can.

    If employers treated workers decently there would be no unions.

    " I don't see this proliferate in schools since tax payers finance schools. "

    Which is fine, until the levy fails, and the school has to cut costs.
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  • #47
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    you attract and keep talented workers of any kind by eliminating a system where their job security depends on how long they have been there. It should be primarily the quality of their work. Another important factor is not having a school system bloated with useless and needless administrators.
  • #113
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    "you attract and keep talented workers of any kind by eliminating a system where their job security depends on how long they have been there"

    Superior senior teachers are replaced by inexperienced new teachers when ever districts can get away with it. Low pay displaces quality a very great deal of the time.
  • #171
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    @Canoochee

    "A government entity worried about spending too much? You live in a strange world."

    School districts run on local levies. When money runs low they do cut costs. Or don't they do that there?

    "Or are you a union guy? "

    Yes.
  • #13
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    Tenure simply means the tenured teacher subject to firing must get a proper hearing.

    Seems firing a tenured teacher should not be that difficult if there are documented grounds for doing so. Getting rid of tenure is just a way for lazy school districts and Administrators to not do the job they are supposed to do.
  • #32
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    @Yank
    Proves there is a problem with competence of those responsible for getting rid of tenured teachers, not with tenure itself. If these incompetent Administrators and lawyers can't get the job done with firing tenured teachers how in the world are they gonna be resourceful enough to get tenure abolished?
  • #36
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    @Yank
    I have cousins in Administration in Los Angeles school system who tell me firing a bad teacher is not that difficult if you have your ducks properly lined up. Another cousin who was Superintendent in Phoenix system says the same thing. Lay the proof out to school board in the right way and they will fire the teacher. It might entail bringing in evidence from others schools where the teacher taught including out of state schools. It might mean surveillance of the teacher on a daily basis documenting the incompetence, and character flaws. It might mean trapping teacher in his/her own inconsistencies at present school and other schools where he/she has worked. Do the preparation and a teacher will fire him/herself with expediency and no one can save them.
  • #52
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    @Yank Part of the problem is defining who is a bad teacher, and who does the defining. In L.A. one can become a principal after only two years in-class experience. So if two years is insufficient to determine the quality of a teacher, dontcha think it might also be woefully insufficient to place one in a position to evaluate teachers? IMO, at least 12 years in-class should be required...for all admin positions right on up to Superintendent.
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  • #9
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    I believe in strong unions...but not necessarily in tenure....raises and promotions at every job/profession...should be tied to performance
  • #15
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    You can't have the latter while keeping he former, you kmow. I kmow of quite a few teachers, both past and present who are worth much more than they are paid, and I know of quite a few who are there to collect a paycheck.

    When I can turn in a term paper in American history with pages of filler, i.e. the gext from the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. and get an A on the paper, was that teacher doing his job?(Your grade was based on he number of pages, not the conent.)
  • #23
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    "You can't have the latter without the former"...of course you can...there are unions in many areas that don't offer tenure.....most unions have no problem with incentive wages being based solely upon performance...as long as there is a cost of living increase for all
  • #26
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    I too believe in strong unions, but only for private sector jobs. I am totally against public sector unions.
    The last Chicago teacher's union strike is one reason. The union fought for increased pay, even though the system is bankrupt. This forced the layoffs of thousands of teachers and the closure of many under enrolled schools. And guess what? The union bitched and whined about those developments, which, as it turns out, were the direct result of their greed.
  • #29
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    @mtkopf
    "The union fought for increased pay, even though the system is bankrupt."
    If we can afford to spend more the next fifteen countries combined on our military...I think we could afford to raise teacher's salaries...we just have really messed up priorities
  • #35
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    @happyhedon and I agree with that sentiment, but the federal govt does not pay the teachers in Chicago... the city does. Conversely, the city does not spend any money on the military(besides the militarization of the police) or foreign aid.

    I hope you aren't suggesting that the teachers go on the federal payrolls. IMO, that would only exponentially compound the problem.

    I say this bc of my personal fight with the social security administration(also another reason why I'm against public sector unions): the SSA alleges they overpaid me $60,000. At issue is whether I gave them some proof 14 years ago, which the SSA subsequently destroyed in '06(which I have proven). Further, I caught 2 SSA reps lying, under oath, at the hearing.

    My whole point is this: the larger the bureaucracy, the more the incompetent ppl can hide(and the more they can be rewarded). And, with a public sector union, the incompetence is protected.
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  • #62
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    We need people who are reasonably well educated, people who are skilled at teaching, people who can get things done with rotating cycles of kids ussually in groups or 30 or larger, and who are happy to do all that for low pay.

    One of the few advantages to being a teacher is that after a while you have built up some tenure and you are a little less likely to lose your job to cutbacks or a personal disputed with management. If we get rid of this source of stability, how are we goin to make up for it?
  • #38
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    "increase salaries to attract better teachers" ... bullshit ... great teachers out there right now that have been kicked to the curb because they make waves, get results, and make everyone else looks like the worthless, incompetent, backstabbing assholes that they are!

    Hell, my mother taught at a private school for less than $10,000 per year. What most people can't understand is that great teachers love teaching! They are not just there to pick up a check and that one of the perks is that you get summers off!

    I know recent education graduates that have a God given gift that will work for half of what they pay the rejects that are currently employed =)

    I'm not saying that all teachers are rotten to the core (everyone usually has a few good teachers along the way and if you lucky you get one that has mastered their craft that makes learning seem effortless)... a good percent of them are rotten and corrupt hence the reason that the majority of kids attending public schools are dumber than a box of rocks!
  • #41
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    .... I might add ... any teacher that blames a child for their inability to get results isn't much of a teacher!

    Like a mechanic who blames his tools when he's not able to fix something =)
  • #114
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    ""increase salaries to attract better teachers" ... bullshit "

    Repeat that in medical schools, engineering schools, law schools, etc. Otherwise, the "bullshit" goes back where it came from.

    How did your mother support you on $10k/yr?

    Great teachers are rare. Great anything is rare. Good teachers are common, and they quit because they can't support a family on what they start at. I substitute taught one year at a local HS. I was seriously considering teaching full time. Then the teacher told me he was getting renewed when he thought his job was going to be downsized. I asked if he was going to take it. He told me what they were paying and said for that he certainly would.

    I didn't tell him how much more I was making doing industrial automation in a factory, but I didn't switch to teaching. His pay sucked compared to mine, and we had about the same level of experience in our fields.
  • #130
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    How did your mother support you on $10k/yr?

    Simple ... not only source of income =)

    ... but you'd be surprise at what you can live on ... it doesn't take as much as most people think it does!

    Throwing money at the problem has never worked ... it's not the real problem but I'm sure that won't stop our idiot politicians from trying since that seems to be the only thing they know.
  • #55
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    You know what I don't understand. I don't understand how there can be thousands--probably millions of articles on teachers, tenure, unions, test scores and the overall failure of our public schools, but just TRY to find a relevant article on administrators. I mean....really?? Public schools are all about teachers and the school principals have NOTHING to do with the success or failure of their school?? That is utter nonsense. You want to talk about tenure--then talk about principals. IF there is a lousy teacher in your school it's BECAUSE there's a LOUSY principal who isn't doing his/her job. IF the test scores are low then the buck stops with the principal. Students are at risk? Administration did not address bully concerns. Chaos in the halls and classrooms? Fights on the playground? WHO should be addressing these issues? It is the administrator who is responsible for teacher observations and evaluations. It is the administrator who documents/dates/writes up the official request for teacher probation or dismissal.
    Let's start placing the ultimate responsibility for schools directly in the laps of the principals and school boards. Tenure is about due process--a fair hearing--documented failures...it is not a life-time guaranteed teaching position.
  • #21
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    Tenure begets superiority and indifference among the teaching peers. No one is perfect, according to tradition, and therefore everyone has some disqualifying trait in them somewhere. How you discover this without witch hunts is beyond me. Tenure is wrong as we have seen in congresses over the past couple of centuries. We need dedicated teachers, not more of the type we now have that try to beat the children out of the door at the end of the school day. To do this you would have to re-instate the school work habits, the catering to special group interests and the overall picture that everyone is entitled to everything with no consequences. The whole thing, like our government, is in a shambles and uncontrollable mess!
  • #178
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    I teach English at a community college. Students who do the work and apply the principles I teach do well. However, about a third do not read the assignments; some never even buy the textbook. If I assign a three page paper, about 70 percent hand in 2 ¼ pages. “Teacher quality” has nothing to do with this aspect of education. We need to work on student quality so they do not try to game the system the way No Child Left Behind’s punitive features have tempted some teachers to game that system.
  • #174
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    Without tenure, school administrations will be free to hire quality teachers, and get rid of those of lower quality. By quality, we mean, of course, young white women who suck up to the administration.

    Since public schools don't participate in the free market, they're basically a bureaucracy, and are therefore by definition incompetent. If we don't want our kids spending their time with incompetent people, we should either vote differently or move to a better country. Teacher tenure has almost nothing to do with it, because competent administrators could easily fire incompetent teachers, if there were any competent administrators, regardless of tenure.
  • #169
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    The Teacher union has massive poewr through its lobbiing of Congress. tenure is way out of control as a result of this, that and the school system is a train wreck.
    one problem with Local control is it is very easily corrupted. Which is no reason not to try it, just have tight rules on the spending.
  • #168
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    I don't mind tenure in general. The problem with this and the unions is it protects "BAD" teachers. It almost take an act.of congress and an "EXECTIVE ORDER" from the president to remove them. The give all the "GOOD TRACHERS" a bad name.
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