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View Diary: Teacher Tenure Is Dead In California (363 comments)

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  •  NYTimes article and my own musings (11+ / 0-)

    When my youngest son was in the third grade (many years ago) he came home with tales about how out of control his classroom was.  So... I sat in for half a day.  The teacher was in essence ineffectual and looked like he didn't even care at the chaos that was his room.  Children doing cartwheels and running around during a test stand out in my mind.  

    I went to the principal seething with rage.   He said there was nothing he could do.  The teacher had tenure.  But he advised sending him something in writing...which I did.  1-2  YEARs later the teacher was no longer in the classroom but was retained in some other spot.      

    Just saying that tenure... as it now is...may not be the best answer to retain the good and eliminate the bad.   I bet some teacher can come up with a better plan.    

    "When wealth rules, democracy dies." Me

    by leema on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:22:50 PM PDT

    •  From my experience, (14+ / 0-)

      at least in our district, that principal may have lied. They just didn't want to be bothered to actually start the discipline process against that teacher, that might lead to firing.

      •  He was probably the principal's nephew. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sethtriggs, ladybug53, zenbassoon
      •  Ding, ding, ding! (12+ / 0-)

        I am senior scientific staff at a university, not a K-12 employee. But it's a public university so we have due process. K-12 teachers in my state have told me it's almost exactly the same procedure used for tenured teachers.

        You'll hear from a lot of people on campus that it is IMPOSSIBLE to fire anyone around here. I can tell you from personal experience as a manager that this claim is false.

        What I can't do is fire an employee on a whim, sans documentation, with no opportunity to remediate deficiencies, to make room for my cousin's son-in-law ... in short, without providing due process (and abiding by anti-nepotism laws).

        There are exceptions are for extreme situations, such as assault or getting caught red-handed stealing. Then the employee goes straight to admin leave pending investigation. And it doesn't take months or years to complete.

        I have had to fire someone. You notice a problem, you follow procedure. Oral warning without a written record; oral warning with written record at the unit level; written warning, copied to HR; disciplinary probation; and then firing.

        Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

        by susanala on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:56:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wa ma, ladybug53, zenbassoon

          Managers that "cannot" fire employees that have some sort of due-process protections are either full of shit or just plain lazy and don't want to do the work to document the case and follow the procedure to make the firing stick with an arbitrator.

          That's all. Nothing more to the story.

          "There was no such thing as a "wealthy" hunter-gatherer. It is the creation of human society that has allowed the wealthy to become wealthy. As such, they have an obligation to pay a bit more to sustain that society than the not-so-wealthy." - Me

          by Darth Stateworker on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:36:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Principal may have lied... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but who can blame him?

        Since the kids have no choice but to attend his school, he has no incentive to fix the problem.

    •  There is a process (16+ / 0-)

      I'm going to reply as if your situation was in California, since that's the topic of the diary and it's where I know the rules well. In your state, your mileage will vary.

      First, one wonders why this person was retained as a teacher in the first place. In the first two years, a teacher can be dismissed for any reason, or no reason. Principals have the responsibility to evaluate new teachers, mentor them, and prepare to send them away in the first 18 months if they don't work out. That might not be happening if the principal is incompetent, or overworked, or has too many new teachers at once.

      Second: in your case the teacher was removed from the classroom, in part because you participated in the process: you sent a letter which would have been put in the teacher's file, and would allow the kick-off of certain other actions. This is a very important part of the process.

      (Note: many very smart and capable people suck at classroom management but are useful elsewhere.)

      But, the due process provisions are there for a reason. Teachers used to be fired because they got married, or because they were uppity women who spoke their mind to the principal, or because they dared to give a low grade to the child of a school board trustee. Union members fought for those rules because good teachers were fired for terrible reasons.

      In general, there are options, and many teachers are reassigned to more appropriate positions or persuade to seek employment elsewhere.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:01:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The NYT's article writes about Arne Duncan (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as a strong supporter of the lawsuit. Is that an official Obama administration view?

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 03:42:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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