Tenure, meet my middle finger.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by FourSquare, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 21, 2010

    Sorry, but my school just pink-slipped four amazing teachers because they were non-tenured. I understand that the budgets are being cut everywhere, but it sickens me that seniority prevails over performance during lay offs.

    This is who we got rid of:

    Bi-lingual second AND third grade teachers. Wonderful ladies with such creativity and enthusiasm. Our school is majority spanish-speaking and their rooms are a haven for new ELLs who are afraid to come to school. FIRED.

    Girls basketball coach and middle school math teacher. We don't need male role models for kids who mostly don't have fathers in their lives...or good math teachers....Oh, and he has three kids. FIRED.

    Ex-military man turned 8th grade educator superstar! I call him Mr. Serious Business. I envy his management. He's tough on kids, but their other options are tougher, and he's seen so many kids off to good high schools. FIRED.

    Staying:

    The teacher who never shows up and talks on her phone when she decides to come to work.

    The teacher that berates students and makes racist comments openly in the classroom.

    The teacher that throws all homework away because she doesn't feel like grading it.

    The teacher that lets kids climb the walls because she can't control her class.

    The non-educational movie and busy work-junkie.

    And they're BRAGGING about it while people's lives have been ripped out from underneath them. Sensitive, much? Have fun next year struggling with 40+ kids in one room!

    :down:
     
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  3. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Apr 21, 2010

    Terrible news! :mad:
     
  4. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Yes, it's sickening to hear & it happens all over. :mad:
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I know...it's disgusting. :(
     
  6. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Apr 21, 2010

    This is horrible. I feel for these teachers. Tenure can be a horrible thing.
     
  7. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Apr 21, 2010

    Awful! I am sorry this is happening in your school.
     
  8. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    What do you mean that they are bragging about it? How stoooopid can one be?
     
  9. MsMongoose

    MsMongoose Companion

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Firing a tenured teacher

    According to a news article in the SF Chronicle, it costs $200.000 to fire a tenured teacher. It is so much easier to just keep them on, when schools are struggling to have enough money to pay their good teachers, and other necessary expenses. Of course this comes at the expense of the students. At one school, the parents pulled their students out of class and demonstrated in front of the school trying to force the administration to fire a certain teacher. In California, the school loses money when the kids aren't in school (but probably not enough to pay for the cost of firing him). Usually the P tries to get the teacher to move to another school.
     
  10. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Apr 22, 2010

    MsDippel, it seems the same thing is happening in lots of places. It's like a bad sci-fi movie.
     
  11. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Apr 22, 2010

    (Love the title of your thread, by the way).

    Many schools in our district are doing the same thing-just blanketly letting go new teachers. All our P's had to rank teachers highest to lowest (just using test scores and evaluations) and meet with higher-ups to discuss what they were doing with the low ones.

    The ones on the bottom are either fired or being put on a growth plan and if they don't improve they are gone next year. Guess what? Some of them are actually low-performing experienced teachers...so if it gives you any hope there are some schools that are going by performance over years on the job. Oh and teachers who are habitually late, take hour long recesses, etc.-they are not eligible to teach summer school this year. It's going to cause a lot of tension because it's $25/hour and people really look forward to it-but if you aren't putting in 100%, you don't get the privilege this year. It makes sense because these kids need someone who will work their behinds off for 20 days of remediation.

    Not to rub it in or anything, just saying that some schools are actually making more practical decisions, (did I mention I love my P).
     
  12. sequence

    sequence Rookie

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I think I want to work at your school, Kinder... :D
     
  13. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Teachers definitely need to be held accountable, but test scores? Really? Haven't we had this discussion? I hope the 'evaluation' aspect has more weight than the test scores.
     
  14. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Can I throw my 2 cents in?!? I have been that person that has been laid off & it SUCKS!!! I feel bad for those teachers & their families...it is quite a blow to your confidence when you're "laid off" what a nice words for "fired"!!! LOL!!!
     
  15. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Apr 22, 2010

    "At one school, the parents pulled their students out of class and demonstrated in front of the school trying to force the administration to fire a certain teacher."
    Why are they trying to fire him/her? What are the reasons they are giving?
     
  16. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I think admins would love to be able to make more "practical" decisions when budgets force staff reductions, but unfortunately the documentation to support practical decisions isn't always there (yes, it should be, but ...) So, low-man is one measure that can be legally argured.

    I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that I'm glad I'm not the one faced with those decisions.
     
  17. MsMongoose

    MsMongoose Companion

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    Apr 22, 2010

    CindyBlue,
    I have no personal knowlege of this particular school, just what was in the news reports. They said the teacher locked a girl in a dark classroom (briefly); "manhandled" the students; yanked them by their clothes; left third-graders alone while he took a long cigarette break; yelled at them, etc. (And not doing much teaching). It seems to be a pattern of behavoir over a couple of years. I was impressed that the parents were close to unanimous on this.
     
  18. MissSkippyjonJones

    MissSkippyjonJones Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I was one of the many young, excited, teachers who was axed last year just because I hadn't been there long enough, while my neighbor teacher who has been teaching for over 20 years was able to stay and keep passing out word searches and showing movies. :( It's tough and disheartening! I read in the paper yesterday that the NAACP has started a lawsuit regarding senority based layoffs because they feel that it causes urban minority children to not get the same education as the upper class (mainly because, who generally works at those schools? New Teachers!!!)
     
  19. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Funny, teachers have to document up the wazoo to get kids on IEPs or behavior plans, but admin can't handle documenting a few bad teachers? Isn't that their job?
     
  20. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Amen and amen!
     
  21. teach42

    teach42 Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I heard that new teachers, when they are first hired, are given more courses to teach while more experienced teachers get less. Moreover, they get the tougher classes. Not saying it's like that everywhere though. Doesn't make much sense to me. Maybe that's why the teacher retention rate is so low.
     
  22. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2010

    I think it is probably one of many job duties.
     
  23. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Apr 22, 2010

    There is truth in this.
     
  24. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2010

    Tenure also protects great teachers at good pay levels on the salary scale from being cut by a 'budget happy' school board who can get two untested newbies for the price of one seasoned, top-of-his or her- game teacher...
    Let's not pit tenured against non-tenured here. Schools CAN get rid of tenured teachers- they just don't want to put the time, energy and resources into it.
     
  25. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 22, 2010

    For every protection, there will be people who "game" it, one way or another; if there haven't been bad teachers who've been protected by tenure, it would be surprising. Whether that's a compelling reason to do away with tenure is a different question: that could (notice I am not saying "would") be rather like arguing that the best way to prevent some criminals from getting their convictions voided on legal technicalities is to suspend the Bill of Rights for all of us.

    My point is not that tenure is right, nor that tenure is wrong, but rather that the Law of Unintended Consequences is always a good one to keep in mind: we-all need to think through the consequences each way.
     
  26. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Apr 23, 2010

    Do you think you could tell this to the school board? Not the dissing the teachers who are staying...that wouldn't be good. But I would think that they might be helped to HEAR about how wonderful these other teachers are!

    If I were a board member... I would tell the others, "You know... I think we could cut back a few basket balls or new blinds or, or, or,...and KEEP these incredible teachers who are making a difference in the lives of our kids.

    It never hurts to try. "And who knows...(as my pastor says) God might have a plan."

    :)
     
  27. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 23, 2010

    You're right, it never hurts to try. But, the mentality seems to be "where can we make the most by cutting" ... unfortunately, that would be salaries. We've pushed to make a lot of small cuts, but we hear that nickel and dime-ing won't get us very far. It's unfortunate it gets ignored.
     
  28. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2010

    Generally doesn't help. We have a colleague who was just let go (enrollment dictates 1 less class next year)...despite tons of letters from parents and parents showing up at board meetings and asking them to reconsider- they'd still need to let someone go- if not this teacher than another...
    ...and the money ISN'T in basketballs and crayons or blinds or paper-it's in salaries and BENEFITS...that's what drives up the cost of education. Someone retiring from the top of the scale frees up money to hire maybe 2 teachers at the bottom of the scale, but they shouldn't be fired for that reason...some districts consider buy-outs which even in this economy saves money in the long run and saves jobs.
     
  29. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 23, 2010

    Czacza is correct- up to a point. The real money isn't in education at all, and the cost of education has not, in real terms, been 'driven up.' Just as a baseline, if you consider every living person in this community, their per capita share for education was $1,069.00 last year. For defense spending we were each on the hook for $2,009.00. Now of course, the actual contribution of individuals is different than a simple per capita distribution, but it gives you an idea where the money goes. We need to look outside the current educational budget, not just argue about how to distribute the current level of underfunding.
     

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