Teacher tenure was initiated to prevent the firing of teachers for personal and political reasons. Tenure prevents the firing of expensive, experienced teachers for younger, less costly ones. Tenure prevents dismissal based on favoritism and discrimination by gender and race.
The problem in teaching is how to prevent under-performing, ineffective or incompetent teachers from entering the classroom. We suggest upping the teacher probationary period in California from two to five years. If any sub-par teacher slips through the process, then fire the administrator. It is not difficult for an experienced administrator to see and observe what’s going on in a classroom and then dismiss outright incompetence.
Are schools finding incoming teachers fully prepared to take on the task of teaching the under-prepared and the higher achiever? A longer student-teacher preparation is in order, such as an all-day student teacher.
How can one be hands-on and ready when you spend a semester observing for two hours, four days a week and maybe giving a lesson or two? Are you then ready to do full-day student teaching? Schools of education must do a competent job of preparing the teachers for today’s classrooms.
Sydney and Susan Bluestone, Fresno