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Cheaters Never Prosper Draft A

Essay by   •  May 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,074 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,226 Views

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If you are given a shield, how do you use it? Do you lead the charge against the enemy, or do you use it to protect yourself and avoid the fight altogether? The concept of tenure is basically to protect the teacher it is awarded to from being fired without just cause. And while the idea might have seemed like a step in the right direction when it was formed, all tenure really does now is protect bad teachers from losing their jobs. It allows these teachers to say - with pride - "I get paid whether you learn or not." Good teachers, that not only teach well but also make students enjoy their class, need not worry about being fired, as they know they are doing a good job. But instructors who do not teach well only need to promise that they will improve, with or without actually improving, to get anyone that might fire them off their backs. This is the problem: there are bad teachers immune to being replaced with possibly better teachers, and the process to remove them from schools is too tedious to continuously repeat.

So what is tenure, exactly? It is a "form of job security for teachers who have successfully completed a probationary period" (ericdigests). Teachers must hold their job through their own means until they complete the probationary period, which changes from state to state. Once they finish their time on the period, commonly referred to as the "tenure clock," they are awarded immunity from being removed from their job illegitimately. What tenure offers also differs by state, but, "[i]n general, a tenured teacher is entitled to due process when he or she is threatened with dismissal or nonrenewal of contract for cause...," promising them a very good chance at keeping their jobs against almost anything or anyone that might want to get rid of them (same cite). Teachers' union representatives also do all that they can to help these tenured educators from being fired, telling them what to say and do to avoid being fired.

Tenure was originally created to protect college professors from being dismissed for poor reasons, such as favoritism, race, political party, or becoming pregnant. In 1900, the first meeting of the National Education Association brought the idea of academic tenure to the attention of the nation, and led it into state legislation for the first time in New Jersey ten years later, granting basic "fair-dismissal rights" to post-secondary education professors (time). Suffrage activists took tenure into elementary and high school instructors in the 1920's when they argued for the position of women teachers disapproving of sexist employers (time). The difference between college tenure and the tenure granted to teachers of primary or secondary education, however, is that college professors are required to present evidence of their competence, while the lower grades' teachers can be granted it just after working for a few consecutive years (time). A few states have attempted to remove or replace tenure, but to little avail as the teachers' unions have rooted in with it to protect their members from being unemployed.

Tenure does do as it was originally intended. It safeguards an educator from being fired solely on a whim or grudge. And this still does happen, as Harvard educator Susan Moore Johnson suggests, "[y]ou continue to hear stories about how favoritism is alive and well in public schools"



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