Tenure: Does it protect the good or the bad?

Joanne Jacobs has a post on tenure protecting the bad teachers.

Curmudgeon responds in Tenure and the Bogeyman saying that tenure protects the good teachers from the whims of administration.

Before (read 5 years ago), I would have been against tenure. However, my experiences recently have changed that.

First, if the teacher is bad, the administration can get rid of them. They just have to be willing to do it. I know it is not fun to do and so many people aren’t willing to do it. Well, guess what? They won’t be willing to fire without tenure either.

If a teacher is bad, the administration has the right and the obligation to be rid of them. Tenure does not usually stop that. Laziness and fear do.

I’ve heard this from a VP who got rid of bad tenured teachers. Good for him!

Second, what is the alternative to tenure? Three year contracts? One college where a friend of mine works has lost thirty people who had three year contracts. Six were immediately dismissed. The college broke their contracts. Twenty plus have been let go on their non-renewal. Most of these are people who have worked for the school for 20+ years. So, they came on as a young PhD, stayed with the school, did their job, and now are being let go, not for cause.

Some of the releases are because the administration has decided to hire more friends. Those friends need spots.

It’s also a financial issue. Hey, get rid of the older people making $60K and hire ones who make $40K. 20×20=$400,000 a year in savings. Yes, every little bit counts, but only if there are more little bits. There aren’t.

So, yeah, I’m starting to think tenure is a good thing.

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