Friday, February 28, 2014

Washington D.C. and Tenure

Image courtesy of CNN, School of Thoughts
Recently my parents and I got talking about tenure and the not-so-recent-but-still-relevant Washington D.C. bill. As far as I'm concerned, the creator of this bill is a genius. I don't know all the ins and outs of the bill, but from what I understand it gives teachers two career paths: a lower salary and tenure or a much higher salary (based on student performance) and no tenure. Tenure basically makes it impossible to fire a teacher unless they either sexually abuse multiple students turn into Jack the Ripper. Both of those are high unlikely, making it, like I said, almost impossible to fire a tenured teacher.

Tenure is an issue for two reasons: first, because it makes teachers on tenure feel like they can get away with anything, and secondly, because it means that when budgets get cut, tenured teachers are kept around, and better teachers are cut. Case in point: one of my favorite teachers this year is fairly new. (S)he teaches us a lot, and is decently nice. However, if it came down to it s(he) would get fired before another teacher who has a history of verbal abuse with students. The only reason for this is tenure. 

Another case in point: a couple years ago I had a teacher who wore very inappropriate clothing to  school. Every day she would come to school in mini skirts and low cut tops. Not only that, but she had a poster up in her room about weight loss. Weight loss.  At the time I was fairly young, so didn’t pay much attention to it, but thinking back on it, that poster could’ve been bad for many young girls self esteem. I don’t know if it has since disappeared from her room, but I can’t believe that no one mentioned it earlier, and discussed it with her. 

I like the Washington D.C. proposal because it prevents teachers from striking by not getting rid of tenure completely, and solves the issue of teachers enot getting paid enough. Because honestly, fifty-thousand dollars a year is nothing for the job teachers have. Many bright intellectuals would love to become teachers, but avoid the job because it doesn’t pay as much as it should. 

Anyways, those are just my thoughts on the topic. Feel free to sound off in the comments! 

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