The Tenderness of Tenure

Blackboard - Nakhon Sawan, Thailand
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Most would agree that both students and teachers should be given fair opportunity to succeed. Because of this, the system of tenure is a controversial one.

To be awarded tenure, a teacher must successfully fulfill a four-year probationary period in which they are reviewed as competent and proficient. The purpose of this is to protect capable teachers from arbitrary and/or politically motivated dismissals,  but some feel that this has a contrary effect.

“Tenured teachers don’t need to worry about losing their job. Once they have been granted this, some may neglect to properly educate their students,” Siesienski said.

Others feel that while tenure should not be abolished, it needs to be regulated differently. According to Sofia Ribolla’12, the administration must find a new method that will more accurately assess a teacher’s competence.

“I do believe that good teachers should be secured. I think the problem is that often unskilled teachers are granted tenure,” Ribolla said. “This is harmful to student’s education.”

Tenure’s potential hazard to student education has been debated nationally for years.  Across the country, people agree with Ribolla that while good teachers should be protected, there must be a remedy for tenured teachers that don’t perform up to standard.

Technically, incompetence is qualified as a just cause for a tenured teacher to lose his or her job, but dismissal of a tenured teacher is difficult to ensue.

“I really don’t know how one of my teachers still has their job. I haven’t learned anything-they barely show up to class,” said an anonymous student. “Tenure should be abolished.”

Until the defects of this procedure have been fairly solved, the debate over tenure will continue across the country and throughout Staples.