Friday, January 14, 2011

Free Speech for the Dumb: Governor Chris Christie

Now I like a leader that's not afraid to stick his head out and come up with some "out of the box" thinking. With that said, I hope that after the facts are presented logic will prevail. Unfortunately, it looks like NJ Gov. Chris Christie hasn't had that "a-ha" moment. From his state of the state speech;
The time for a national conversation on tenure is long past due. Teaching can no longer be the only profession where you have no rewards for excellence and no consequences for failure to perform. Let New Jersey lead the way again. The time to eliminate teacher tenure is now.
Does anyone realize that all tenure gives a teacher is due process. This whole argument about "a guaranteed job for life" is just nonsense. Is the process to fire a teacher lengthy? Yes, but there is a process in place to fire a teacher. At my school a teacher should have been fired, the union rep told the administrators go ahead, we can't stop you. What happened? Nothing, they didn't fire him. Is that tenure's fault or the administration.

People want to run schools like business. Well if that's the case let me do the following;
  • be able to pick my students (employees)
  • no special ed students either, they usually don't perform well on standardized tests
  • be able to "fire" my students within the first 6 weeks of a semester
  • for tardies/absences
  • for failing to do homework
  • for failing to participate
  • for failing a test
Sounds kind of "out there"? It's not. I worked as a supervisor at UPS (a real life private business) for 5 years and we were able to pick and choose who we wanted and fire those that couldn't perform. And because of that we ran a smooth operation. If we had to take anyone who came through that door, UPS would not be successful.

People who aren't in education, don't get it. They don't. Where there is a bad student, chances are there is a bad home life. We see these students 55 minutes a day. What are they doing the other 23 hours? Drinking/drugs? Staying up late? Not doing any homework? Watching over their siblings? Working? Playing sports? Community service for college?

There is a lot of problems wrong with education, but I would say most start in the homes because the parents want to push all their problems onto the schools.


Anonymous said...

You obviously don't live in NJ. Tenure isn't "due process" here. it's a lifetime event. Teachers CAN'T get fired. It doesn't happen.

You also left out Christie's other point, that the powerful NJEA refuses to let good teachers be rewarded. If you're good, you don't get rewarded; if you suck, you can't lose your job.

Tenure isn't "due process." That's a legal term. There is NO reason for tenure, esp. on a high school or lower level. No reason. AT all.

Mr. W said...

Unless NJ is some kind of different state, most have a probationary period in which administrators can let a teacher go for pretty much any reason. In some cases, no reason is needed.

Teachers can get fired, it is administrators who don't want to go through the steps necessary to do it. This is one of the problems with America. No one wants to do their job, it's always someone else's fault. It's not the administrators that don't enforce the rules. It's not the parents who can't control their kids, it's the teachers...take the easy way out right?

Tenure protects administrators from favoritism and bullying. In our district we don't have to tutor after school or ever, but every year I get called in because everyone else in my department does it. Now do you think that if there was no tenure I would be protected? Heck no. I would be let go because I didn't want to do extra work for free.