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View Diary: So You Think Tenure Is A Bad Thing? (358 comments)

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  •  Absolutely true. Now, some people may (32+ / 0-)

    complain about how long or short the probationary period is, but that's another debate.

    And as I continually say, competent administrators can do the due diligence to build the case to get a "bad teacher" fired.

    "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 10:43:29 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It is a lot of work (15+ / 0-)

      and that is why it doesn't often happen.

      In my workplace we had an incompetent staff person hired by a vindictive and emotionally unwell faculty administrator, who then fudged all the performance reviews so that this staff person would be in place forever. It was very Stalinistic: the staff person was obviously there to be the hatchet man for any person or practice the faculty administrator wanted to axe.

      The vindictive and emotionally unwell faculty administrator had to resign after 4 months on the job, but by then this incompetent staff person passed the probationary period. The new faculty administrator spent the next year+ documenting the problems and giving accurate performance reviews so that we could move the incompetent staff person out. In the end, I.S.P. opted to get a different job rather than be fired.

      On the face of it, the process seems cumbersome, but really, it is there to protect people from vindictive and emotionally unwell supervisors, from changing regimes, and from inaccurate evaluations. If the situation had been reversed, due process would have protected a staff person from a vendetta by his supervisor. In this situation, due process gave the staff person an opportunity to improve, but since he couldn't, he had time to find another berth to land in.

      •  I'm confused about your timeline. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon, poco

        Your vindictive administrator only had a job for 4 months, and managed to get someone through a 2 year probationary period during that time?

        But I agree with your larger point, which is that bad administrators can do tremendous damage, making bad hires, getting your good people to quit and get jobs elsewhere, generally demoralizing staff and kneecapping their productivity. Administrators are relatively easy to fire and there's no reason to have bad ones for any length of time.

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

        by elfling on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:26:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The person there for 4 months (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon

          hired someone else and that second person, who was also horrible, got the third person through the probationary term.

          No War but Class War

          by AoT on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:44:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think in this case... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon, badscience

          the probationary period was less than four months. I worked at two state colleges before and the civil service probationary period for both was 3 months. After that you received full civil service and union protections.

          •  that's not the same as tenure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zenbassoon

            civil service protections are not quite the same. Although they share some common features, tenure is usually governed by separate statute.

          •  Yes, this is it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zenbassoon, pdxteacher

            This is an analogous situation, not an exact situation.

            My example was just that DUE PROCESS is a lot of work. Most people would shrug their shoulders and say "well, we got stuck with a loser and it is impossible to get civil servants fired."

            In fact, it isn't impossible to get civil servants fired, but it is hard. When you are trying to get it done, it is a drag, but you understand that those safeguards are in place for a reason.

        •  See below: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, zenbassoon, pdxteacher

          staff person had civil servant probationary period.

          My example is only to point out that due process takes work, but it is worth it. People like to point out that such things (teacher tenure, civil servant protections) just protect bad practitioners but they really safeguard people's livelihoods. We managed to get rid of a bad staff person, but it took a lot of diligent work to get it done, and we had to put up with the bad staff person during that period. But that is better than having a workplace that is filled with fear and tenuousness.

    •  I like the two year period (6+ / 0-)

      It's long enough that you can do mentoring and remediation and coaching, but not so long that you forget who your probationary teachers are and accidentally tenure them, and not so long that they can ever pop out of the top 10 of your to-do list.

      I don't want mediocre teachers staying on for 3, 4, or 5 years. The 2 year period makes for a very clear goal for both the new teacher and the administrator.

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

      by elfling on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 11:28:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Illinois' is four years. n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon
      •  It isnow 4 in NJ, but it is so watered down it is (7+ / 0-)

        almost meaningless. You can effectively be fired with 2 bad evals. It takes a little time, but it can be done. And a boss can make ANYONE look bad. Kid picking his nose during your lesson? ( students were unfocused )Kid asking to leave during class ( students were uninterested in the lesson, and thus the plans were inadequate, the love to go after the lesson plans ) Kids talking during class? ( you have no classroom control or in todays parlance, classroom management skills )Got stuck in traffic 3 times this month on the NJ Turnpike because the GW bridge lanes were closed ( you are chronically late and are cheating the kids out of an education ) and so on. And even as easy as it is, the ex gym teachers running the show often manage to fuck it up and have the case thrown out.

      •  two years isn't enough time to evaluate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon

        any profession.

        •  If someone is mediocre (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zenbassoon, Sparhawk

          you know long before two years.

          The longer the probationary time, the longer the questionable teachers will be kept until the administration decides to go back to the well for a fresh candidate, in general.

          And, the longer the person has been there, the more disruptive it will be to let them go - friendships and alliances will have formed, various institutional knowledge will be vested in that person... etc.

          From watching the process, it's my observation that these days anyway (perhaps not in previous decades), that the shorter period tends to cause good administrators to expect more and sooner from their new teachers before granting permanent status.

          A longer period, I suspect, increases the probability of any individual getting permanent status.

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

          by elfling on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 07:18:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Five years in Missouri (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zenbassoon

        Light is seen through a small hole.

        by houyhnhnm on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 06:33:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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