19 June 2010

The Boldest Boldness that Ever Bolded

AP | Colleen Slevin | In bold move, Colorado alters teacher tenure rules

Denver – Colorado is changing the rules for how teachers earn and keep the sweeping job protections known as tenure, linking student performance to job security despite outcry from teacher unions that have steadfastly defended the system for decades. [...]

It requires teachers to be evaluated annually, with at least half of their rating based on whether their students progressed during the school year. Beginning teachers will have to show they've boosted student achievement for three straight years to earn tenure.

Teachers could lose tenure if their students don't show progress for two consecutive years. Under the old system, teachers simply had to work for three years to gain tenure, the typical wait around the country.
It's a sad, sad state of affairs when this is rightly considered a "bold move." Reforming a system in which showing up to work for three years grants you a job for life should be common sense, not an audacious scheme.
Teachers won't be at risk of losing tenure until 2015 because lawmakers slowed down the process under political pressure from the teachers' union. Teachers can appeal dismissal all the way to the state Supreme Court, and school districts have the burden of proving why they should be terminated.
Of course.
On average, school districts across the country dismiss 2.1 percent of teachers annually ...
I'd love to see that stat for other industries.
... generally for bad conduct rather than performance.
In a way it's the mirror image of the way school systems treat students. Schools are really just ways to keep children busy, not places to educate them.  Just failing to learn things is almost never cause to dismiss a student where I come from, but bad conduct is.   Why should the wardens be evaluated any differently than the inmates?

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