Fix teacher tenure, don’t end it

Teacher tenureEveryone has had a bad teacher that they wish they could get rid of, but how easy is it for a teacher to actually get fired? Most people believe that if teachers do a bad job they will get suspended or fired, and if teachers perform well then they will be asked to stay,  but it’s not that simple. Some teachers have the protection option of tenure.

Tenure is a policy that restricts the ability to fire teachers, requiring a “just cause” rationale for firing. States each have established their own tenure systems. Tenure provides teachers with protection by making it difficult to fire teachers who have earned tenure. In California, the teacher tenure can be offered after a two year probation period.

We at The Olympian are in favor of teacher tenure,  but believe that some pieces of the structure should be changed. For example, the probation period that California teachers must go through before they can be eligible for tenure is two years. We believe that the time period should be around five years. That way administrators can really see how the teacher benefits the students and school. In addition to a longer probation period, we believe that the students should have an input on teacher’s eligibility to receive tenure. Students have a unique perspective on the teacher and can better judge how successful the teacher really is at teaching. However, the students would need to be trustworthy and be able to give honest feedback without bias, which would be hard for most students.

The tenure policy is a good policy, but needs some work to ensure that both the students and the teachers feel like they are being benefitted. Hopefully down the line with some changes, we will be able to give the full tenure policy an A+.

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