Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Arizona to Abolish Teacher Tenure

By on December 7, 2009

According to the Arizona Star, AZ is about to become the first state to eliminate teacher tenure entirely from its educational system.  AZ’s an interesting state.  They are definitely onto something with abolishing the time change thing.  Now THAT’S antiquated.  But they’ve got it wrong with ditching teacher tenure all together.  Check out the article here:

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/mailstory-clickthru/320143.php

I’ve wrestled a lot with my opinions of teacher tenure before, its pros and cons.  My post, “My Struggles with Tenure,” is the result.

Bottom line: we can’t do away with tenure and still expect honest voices from the trenches to help us better the system without protecting those who share their voice.  Tenure should be reformed.  It should be precious. It should not be given away lightly.  The system must be made easier to lose ineffective teachers.  As it stands now, however, tenure protects the mediocre far more often than the obscenely bad.  Nevertheless, it must exist.

Many of those outside education complain because it is the only profession with this level of job protection.  As if this uniqueness in itself makes it unworthy a concept.  Well, teaching is a unique profession for many reasons, many of which have to do with being taken advantage of.  Teaching is unique because of its level of responsibility.  Teaching is unique because we must help the smallest of clients to succeed in the most cumbersome of systems that is not entirely set up for their success.

The intention of tenure is one we must protect, even if the system it resides in must be reformed.

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