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OK, I'll say it: Teachers deserve tenure
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Tenure, no doubt, could use tweaking to help weed out truly bad teachers more quickly. The system, though, does allow even a tenured teacher to be fired after what’s called a 3020a hearing –– it’s simply a long, expensive process that many school administrators are reluctant to undertake.

Here’s the thing: The overwhelming majority of teachers are good, even great educators. They aren’t granted tenure until they’ve been in a classroom full-time for three years. And the tenure probationary period can be extended to four years if an administrator sees potential in a candidate but is unsure whether he or she will make it long-term. Most underperforming teachers are identified early and asked to leave.

Do some teachers eventually burn out? Yes. Society’s first instinct, however, is to fire them. Why do we not ask about the working conditions that cause them to lose their desire to teach? Have they, for example, been teaching for years in drug- and gang-infested schools with little support from parents and administrators?

Without tenure, they could easily be fired, but would justice be served? Clearly not. Many teachers might need a seminar, sabbatical or transfer, but likely not a pink slip.

Teachers are special. They need and deserve special protection under the law.

Scott Brinton is senior editor of the Bellmore and Merrick Heralds and an adjunct professor at the Hofstra University Graduate Journalism Program. Comments? SBrinton@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 203. Brinton’s profile and posts can be found at facebook.com/scottabrinton.


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Yes, I understand where Scott Brinton is coming from. His parents were (tenured?) teachers and he is as well. All will agree that tenure is a great benefit for teachers.

It is almost impossible to dismiss a teacher that has tenure.

And tenured educators contribute to Long Islands high taxes. Do tenured teachers earn their guaranteed compensation?

Maybe we should expand tenure to for-profit businesses- which could result in a $10. apple.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 | Report this

Did you ever wonder how good workers in the private sector continually get raises if bosses only want the lowest salaried workers? (In the private sector we call them bosses, not principles, and some of them are also big meanies.)

Instead of letting the mediocre and incompetent teachers block merit pay, let schools offer higher salaries to attract and reward great teachers, just like is done in the private sector. Unlike the union's philosophy that all teachers are commodities of equal value, the private sector knows that a good worker is worth much more than a mediocre one.

And that works both ways. In the private sector, workers can leave unpleasant working conditions and go work at their boss’s competitors.

Friday, July 18, 2014 | Report this
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