Transparency in Teaching (Stuff) Podcast

Tackling Teacher Tenure

In 2005 then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to make changes to California’s teacher tenure. He pressed to increase the time to achieve tenure from 2 to 5 years. He also proposed that teacher pay be based on merit, not length of tenure. Schwarzenegger believed that continued employment should be tied to performance, not, as he put it, “just showing up.”

Schwarzenegger called the system, “an educational disaster”

“Our education system,” he said,  “is in desperate need of reform with the current tenure system locking problem teachers into our schools, and making it nearly impossible for principals to make employment decisions based on the needs of students.”

Proponents have their reasons for supporting tenure. Lily Eskelsen Garcia, MEd, President of the National Education Association (NEA) explains, “These policies don’t prevent bad teachers from being fired; they prevent good teachers from being fired for bad reasons.”

The topic of teacher tenure remains a contentious one. In this episode, we delve into its history. We also explain why it’s so hard to fire a bad educator. And what are the benefits and problems associated with tenure? Of course, it’s not all seriousness. Not when Jen and Sharyn have opinions. So grab a seat at the table in the virtual teacher’s lounge .See if you agree with us about what to do about teacher tenure.

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