Press of A.C. and NJSBA Slam Assembly for Kowtowing to NJEAJune 29, 2009
Posting Will Be Light This Week…June 30, 2009
New Jersey was the first state in the U.S. to pass a law giving tenure to teachers. That was in 1909, and the purpose was to “protect teachers from the whims of autocratic principals and patronage allocating administrators. Until then, teachers could be fired for speaking up, questioning educational practices, or merely because an administrator wished to give the job to someone else for political reasons or nepotism.”
That’s from a report from The Center for American Progress by Joan Baratz-Snowden called “Fixing Tenure: A Proposal for Assuring Teacher Effectiveness and Due Process.” Among the suggestions for improving teacher quality while protecting teachers from arbitrary job dismissal are:
1) Get rid of the term “tenure” and use “continuing employment status.”
2) Overhaul current provisions for job protection: 3 years is too short a time.
3) “Continuing employment status” should only be awarded after considering evidence of student learning.
4) New models for tenure must be created collaboratively with the teachers unions or they won’t work.
It’s a great read, and especially relevant now that a few unions in other states have been progressive in working with charters that require new models: think the new contract between Steve Barr’s Green Dot charter school in the Bronx and the UFT which does not contain the word “tenure.” Huh? Read Gothamschool’s excellent post here.