Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why Teachers Need Tenure and Due Process:

Teaching is an incredibly "political" profession. The content of curriculum, as well as school budgets and hiring policies are the subject of intense debate from local school districts through legislators. Public officials, given a chance, will use schools as centers of patronage or places where they build political machines, and they will attempt to make teachers serve those ends if teachers do not have basic job protections. Then there are the parents. Some parents see all the needs of all children as foremost. Others will do anything to get special treatment for their child. If they are powerful, they will use that power to try to bend teachers to their will. I have seen this in action in schools I have worked in ( as well as sports leagues). Teachers need basic job protection to defend them from those parents, who exist, sometimes in small numbers, sometimes in large numbers in every school. Finally, teachers need protection from abusive administrators who are, thankfully, a minority, but do exist in every school district in the country. And these job protections, which protect teachers from abuse, intimidation, bribery, insider dealing and special influence, also protect children, because if teachers are bent to the will of powerful politicians, helicopter parents and abusive administrators, children will suffer. That is whey every society in the world with good schools has the kind of employment protections people here are challenging. And by the way, every single thing I have described above I have seen operating first hand