Nearly everyone agrees that all students deserve a quality education, and that teachers deserve reasonable job protections. But Vergara v. California threw a spotlight on a hard truth: The balance has swung too far toward job protections for adults, at the expense of the rights of children.
Tenure doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. TNTP believes school systems can strike a more reasonable balance between job protections for teachers and the educational rights of students with common-sense changes to existing tenure laws and regulations.
Recently, TNTP released a short paper with eight recommendations for what those changes should look like, including:
— Lengthening the tryout period and linking tenure to performance
— Streamlining hearings and focusing on students’ interests
— Ending tolerance for egregious misconduct, but lowering the professional stakes for teachers in other cases
These aren’t radical changes, and they’re not about stripping teachers of due process. Fixing tenure is no silver bullet, but it is a step toward putting the focus back where it should be: on supporting and keeping the vast majority of our teachers whose performance is not an issue.
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