Thursday, December 16, 2010

Article On Teacher Tenure - Polls Show Americans Want To Ditch Tenure, Give Pay Raises To Effective Teachers

This is a good piece from the site Big Government. It has to do with teachers and salaries and ending tenure and rewarding good teachers. Even when I was in high school back in the day, I didn't understand tenure. Teaching should be like any other job, you fuck up, you're fired. Another reason why unions are bad. They protect the bad one and things don't get fixed. Too much politics. Read the article below. I have "bolded" my favorite parts of the piece.

Via Big Government: Americans are finally accepting the fact that the nation’s public education system is deeply flawed.

And a new poll reveals that the public is ready to embrace a logical compromise that would effectively address the problem – do away with tenure protection for bad teachers and provide higher salaries for good teachers.

According to the poll, conducted by Stanford University and the Associated Press, 78 percent of respondents believe it should be easier for schools to get rid of ineffective teachers. But 57 percent also believe good teachers deserve better pay.

That means the time is right to start promoting plans to increase the professionalism of K-12 teachers.

As we’ve said in the past, we would strongly consider any plan to significantly increase teacher salaries, as long as schools retain the power to choose the teachers they have on staff from year to year.

That would mean no more tenure, or severe alterations to current state tenure laws.
Professionals are highly compensated employees who are held accountable for their performance and do not bargain collectively. That’s a point that the teachers unions have yet to understand.

In a recent USA Today op-ed, National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel writes that we need to “respect teachers and treat them like professionals.” But elsewhere in his column, Van Roekel defines a professional teacher as one protected by a strong teachers union and a teacher evaluation system that does not involve student test scores.

The unions can’t have it both ways.

Our view matches that of a majority of Americans: Treating teachers as professionals requires that each teacher be judged as an individual. That means rewarding good teachers with a higher salary, and holding ineffective teachers accountable for their poor performance.

Contrary to the claims of the unions, a ground-breaking new study from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation finds that teacher performance can accurately be measured by student scores on standardized tests.

True professionals would not shrink from a rigorous evaluation standard. That’s how the private sector operates and thrives, and the same standard should apply to “professional” teachers.

Lawmakers from across the nation should seize the momentum revealed by this recent poll and repeal tenure laws in exchange for higher teacher salaries. Such a move would also make teaching a more desirable profession for our brightest college graduates. According to Sir Michael Barber, the former education adviser to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. teachers largely come from the bottom third of their college graduating class.

We agree with the American people that it is time to start treating teachers as professionals. Effective teachers should be well-paid, and the ineffective ones should be weeded out.

This poll shows that Americans are willing to provide higher salaries in exchange for scrapping tenure. That would allow us to really elevate the teaching profession, and rescue it from the self-serving interests of the teacher unions.

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