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Is School really Benefiting Students or the Teachers? Problems of Tenure and the Impact it has on students.

To see how tenure affects student learning, look at Chicago. In a school district that has by any measure failed its students, only 28.5 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded expectations on that state’s standardized tests, Newsweek reported that only 0.1 percent of teachers were dismissed for performance-related reasons between 2005 and 2008. When barely one in four students nearing graduation can read and do math, how is it possible that only one in one thousand teachers is worthy of dismissal? As a student even I can see how something must be done, but have not noticed any action from the government to restrict tenure. If an agreement could be made with the teacher union to revise tenure to where it only protects teachers that are within 10 years of retirement. This allows for the school to fire bad teachers and replace them with someone who actually wants to teach. I also wonder why in society the news only focuses on teachers if there is a sexual harassment case with a student. As a student, I don't understand how this is the only thing focused on about teachers. Teachers Union Exposed is a website devoted to publishing articles about the teachers union and giving facts on what the effects are of it today. They quoted how one New Jersey union representative was even blunter about the work his organization does to keep bad teachers in the classroom, saying: “I’ve gone in and defended teachers who shouldn’t even be pumping gas.” The reason this relates to bill gates "Teachers need real feedback", is the idea of teachers needing feedback is only one sided, meaning bill gates and school districts think teachers want feedback, while teachers actually do not care about feedback either because they are a bad teacher, or they do not need the feedback because they teach their students well and encourage students to speak up when they're confused and have questions, these are examples in a good teacher. So ask yourself, is school benefiting the Students or Teachers?

  • Jan 11 2014: I think a lot of people have a misconception of what tenure is, at least for the public k-12 system. Tenure does NOT mean that a teacher can't be fired, it means there is a due process in place to protect teachers from being unjustly fired. Any person in any profession should have a chance to get better at their job. If there is a process to help them get better and they do not improve, then they should be forced out of the job. And anyone who believes that unions WANT to protect bad teachers is much mistaken. No teacher wants to see a bad teacher stay in the business--not only does that make all of us look bad, but more importantly we actually CARE ABOUT THE STUDENTS and want to see all of them succeed.
    I also think people have a misconception about how many bad teachers are out there, and who they are. Not all veteran teachers are burned out and useless. And not all new teachers are energetic and full of new ideas. In my 11 year career, I have only come across two "bad " teachers. One was brand new and went through the improvement process outlined in our contract. She did not improve and was removed. The other was an older teacher who returned to teaching after a long gap. She, too went through the contractual process in under two years, failed to improve and was also removed. The system works. To point out our inadequacies, the U.S. is constantly compared to that of Finland, which performs highly on international tests. It is rarely mentioned that Finland's teachers are highly unionized, or that Finland does not have the high-stakes "accountability" testing with which American teachers are constantly bludgeoned.
  • Jan 3 2014: Tenure started in the Universities to support academic freedom for professors to allow them to express opinions that administration and public may not like. Unions came into the scene because teachers felt they needed more power when negotiating contracts and also employment protection.

    Because of this, it is very difficult if not impossible to fire a tenured teacher. For those who will say there is a process, a process that does not work is no process (10 years to fire a tenured teacher at the cost of 500k and you have to pay them with full benefits for 10 years with full pension benefits which not included in the 500k)

    Now let me say this:

    Teachers need protection from over zealous parents and bad administrators.
  • Dec 30 2013: AN OUTLINE OF AN EDUCATIONAL MODEL. BOSQUEJO DE UN MODELO EDUCATIVO. PARA UNA EDUCACIÓN EN FUNCIÓN DEL DESARROLLO HUMANO. El problema del sistema moderno de educación está en continuar con la segregación de la Nación. ...La educación sería un preámbulo a la Universidad, un proceso de desarrollo de las diversas cualidades humanas, para lograr la auto-identificación de fortalezas, el latido del individuo a su propio ritmo (en donde competir es una consecuencia, y no el objetivo). No se puede excluir a los niños entre más inteligentes y menos, simplemente es el entorno y lo que se les ofrece, lo que aprenden. CONTINUAR EN EL LINK:
  • Dec 30 2013: It is so many problems in the world. Like the question "is school benefiting the students or teachers?". Let me ask all of you: Who is the teacher? And Who is the student?. If we are clear about these I think we will produce a quality of education system in the world. It is not only to help American students but help human being to keep this world for peace and harmony. One day I hope that all the teachers are the people who understood the reason of life. Why? Because if each individual who understand about his/her reason of life is meaningless. Therefore, he/she will do the better things for everybody who poor, weak and old than him/her. But how can we build the people who understand the reason of life?
    For instant, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Gandhi, John F Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln etc, they always wanted to establish the peace for this earth. So why don't we think about their dedications?
    The above people who were understood the reason of life. So they devoted their life for everyone as a servant. I think if all the teachers are really understood the reason of life like those people every thing is Okay. Don't you think like me and why?
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    Dec 29 2013: Duncan, I am guessing you are from Illinois. Arne Duncan left your state in a real mess ... now he is messing it up for all states.

    First it is really hard to rate states ... the criteria varies and most of the scores are totally based on the amount spent per student ... which is a ineffective gage. As a example Illinois has the highest mean average for teachers salaries at $69,830 ... and we all look forward to the annual teachers strike to hold the state hostage for a pay raise. Illinois, being a good union state, falls in line every year to reward one of the countries least effective school systems for the very reasons you state above.

    Next. Tenure is soon to become a thing of the past. The federal government is now holding states and teachers accountable by rating them on the students grades. Which is about as dumb a idea that ever came down the pipes. It will spawn strictly teaching the test ... and reporting results higher than earned ... this will occur to keep your job and to keep federal monies.

    We have some great teachers and we have those who should not be allowed in the area of a school. Tenure and unions present a problem of maintaining good and fights to keep the bad. With the new CORE and STEM requirements it should be noted that teachers are required to follow a daily schedule devised by textbook publishers and test developers. The feds have taken all options of the table for teachers.

    Finally addressing is the school good for either teachers or students .. no .. it is getting worse not better. We are in a knee jerk reaction to the failure of the USA in the PISA exams ... it is about the embarrassment to Arne Duncan and his goal to socialize US education .. it has nothing to do with improvement to either the system or the students.

    Remember the golden rule ... he who has the gold rules ... and that is the federal government. They hold the money until we comply. Political blackmail.

    All the best. Bob
  • Dec 26 2013: In the days when I was a student in the K-12 school system, an administrator was the person who was responsible for the learning and the welfare of the students. He/She recruited good teachers, and fired them if the teachers didn't perform. The school administrator had the authority to administrate the entire business, with a free hand, for the school. but he/she was also responsible for well educated students in the school. If they were not well educated, the student body would diminish, then he/she would be dismissed by the private owner; usually a charitable philanthropist.
    However, in the current school system, particularly in the U. S., the administrator(s) has to take orders from the government above and has almost no authority over the teachers and their union representatives over the matter of education performance, etc., as well as other matters such as their private conduct . In other words, the they don't have the power or authority to control even 50% of the running of the school's educational functions, but they are still "responsible" when the school is shut down because of the lower ranking of the students' test scores.
    In other words, when you talk about the "school(s)" it is just a term to represent the students, teachers, administrators in it, AS WELL AS THE GOVERNMENT WHICH CONTROLS THE FINANCING AND SUPERVISION OF THE SCHOOLS. But the crucial difference here is that now the government also INTERFERES IN FULL FORCE OVER THE SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION, which is not set up in the U. S. Constitution, at least not explicitly or definitely.
    To say it bluntly, the governments (state and federal) take more than 50% of the power in affecting the school policy and functions and impose restrictions by mandates, programs and legal bindings, therefore they should shoulder the same percentage of the responsibility of the failure too.
  • Dec 24 2013: Teaching should not be a profession you learned in college, it should be a mastered profession proved by real world experience. What and whether you learned anything in college is immaterial. If college helped, fine, if it did not, who cares? As long as you can prove you know how to do the work, who cares where you learned? The important thing is the kids get a teacher who knows how to do what that say and say what they mean.
  • Dec 24 2013: I often question myself the same question:what education it is?we do know what good education it is but just don't want to contribute to do so.Then I asked myself Why.That's the reality.we humanbeing not in the good education level yet.That's one of the reasons for us to keep on teaching?LOL
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    Dec 22 2013: I have an issue with the way tenure is used in modern times. The original purpose of tenure was to protect those with novel ideas that did not necessarily fit the mainstream. This was a result of all the issues during the early days of scientists. Clashes with religious doctrine and even other professors could result in the person being fired, or in some cases, more or less being erased from history. Now it's given to just about everyone and is almost a guarantee against being fired regardless of performance.

    Now out of the way, I would say that the current school system benefits neither teachers nor students. Teachers are given little freedom in how and what to teach and as a result the good teachers reach burnout quickly. This of course is not good for the students.