I am disappointed by The Bee's uninformed opinion June 11 entitled, "Teacher tenure ruling could improve educational quality." Read our union contracts. There is no such thing as teacher tenure that guarantees teachers jobs for life.
We do not have tenure (as university professors might); we have "seniority rights" with limitations (management rights). Our seniority rights simply provide us with the right to a hearing and just cause for discipline/dismissal after our two-year probationary period is complete. Principals can fire any teacher, regardless of seniority, at any time for cause. There is no excuse for bad teachers other than management's failure to do due diligence in their supervision.
Our seniority affects layoffs, also with limitations — most principals can retain junior teachers based on "school need," and many do. I fear that The Bee's unfair characterizations will discourage people from becoming teachers and union members.
Teachers unions do not cause layoffs or any declines in the quality of public education (state budget cuts do), and we champion reform. The truth is, it's all about school funding — our children can only get the quality and number of teachers that we are willing to pay for.