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August 17th, 2017 08:11 a.m.

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Tenure or no, teachers need to be held fully accountable

POSTED: August 10, 2011 1:00 a.m.

How about a hometown view regarding teacher predicaments. After reading the rebuke in The Times (Saturday) for how the current wave of change in public education is affecting teachers, it is obvious the teachers and the two professors who contributed to the article are more concerned about the senior union member teachers and those who have tenure as they obviously do.

They make a case against change in the system without considering why there may be a need to do so. If the system was working well before the fight for change, why has it ballooned into a nationwide drive?

The simple fact of the matter is that it was not working. Parents were the ones who championed charter schools as a way to get the best education for their children. I wonder how many older teachers Pedro Noguera and Michelle Fine actually talked to before they came up with their psychobabble in favor of senior teachers and tenure?

It's a well-known fact that teaching young children is a very stressful job and there is a high rate of burnout in the profession. This state of mind remains whether there is tenure around the corner or if there is a union force making it almost impossible for a school district to terminate an incompetent teacher.

My family was affected by the inability to change ineffective and incompetent teachers. The sad fact is that in many school districts across our nation there is very little oversight brought to bear in these situations.

I believe it far more honorable for the parents of children whose public schools are failing to provide them with an adequate education for whatever reason than to fight to preserve a system that has failed. The pendulum of change swings both ways, and just as the need for unions became a necessity due to sweat shops of the 19th century, the overly unproductive labor practices in our steel mills and auto industry brought havoc to them.

It seems to me Noguera and Fine don't think very highly of the new younger teachers trying to enter the job market. They seem to forget they also had a starting point and at that point in time they, too, were very inexperienced.
I'll take the young teacher with a head full of new ideas and a zeal to get started over a burned-out, noncaring one that because of bureaucratic union rules or tenure makes it near impossible or impractical to remove.

Who, with a right mind, would criticize New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for wanting to implement a teacher evaluation process? Even a crude one is better than none at all.

Saunder Hutchinson


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