Another Destructive Tenure Meme

14 Jun

(Promoted by “Reasonable” Liberals)

Bad enough that Judge Rolf’s decision in the Vergara show trial appeared to be based on political talking points instead of evidence. Now, tamed liberals are appearing in all types of media claiming the truth is that the California tenure law was bad. “It needed reform.” They make specious claims like the 18 months time is too short for a proper evaluation and the muscular protection is unreasonable. It is all foolish rhetoric that supports the diminishment of professionalism in education.

The 18 month claim must be based on California’s school year consisting of 182 days. If you add legal holidays and divide by 5, you arrive at enough weeks to equal 9 months. There is no credit for teaching summer school, attending seminars or anything else. So even based on this formula, the very fastest a probationary teacher can complete the required time is 21 months.

But, a teacher cannot get a probationary contract until they have a California teaching credential and 1 year of either student teaching or teaching under an intern contract (for master of education students). So, the minimum time is really 33 months.

Using Harvard University style economics analysis, I can say that only 23.47% of newly minted teachers with their year of student teaching done receive a probationary contract. The rest who don’t happen to be in their 20’s and also are not a product of a preferred teacher education program get temporary contracts. Temporary contracts provide no protections and do not count towards a permanent position.

Using the Cornell University education research methodology, I have found that it takes the average teacher 2.3 years working under temporary contracts before they are offered a probationary contract. So the fact is that it takes most teachers nearly 5 years to achieve a full time position with guaranteed job protections. I am being a little facetious here but the 5 year number is probably pretty close to the time the average California teacher takes attain full time status as a teacher.

During my first year teaching five teachers at my school were fired and all of them had tenure. As far as I could tell they were all competent teachers who were doing their job. In fact, the principal made a big deal about the outstanding winter music festival organized by the music teacher she fired. For some reason, the “powerful” teachers’ union could not save their jobs. So, the job protections for California educators is not that muscular.

The Vergara trial results and fallout along with the material in Mercedes K. Schneider’s book, “A Chronicle of Echoes,” which documents the destruction of public education by rich powerful business men and politicians, called to mind a portion of the dialogue between four Buddhist philosophers published in 2000. They started discussing modern civilization being out of control.

Ikeda: “We are driving at a reckless speed on a winding road. We are like a fearless child infatuated with the excitement of speed, stepping harder and harder on the accelerator of the automobile. We are risking catastrophe at any moment.”

Endo: “Knowing neither where we are headed nor in what direction we ought to go, we continue to careen recklessly into impenetrable darkness without a sure path. That is the state of humankind today.”

Ikeda: “Since my dialogue with Dr. Peccei in the 1980s, this situation has not improved in the least. And I am deeply perplexed by the sense that recently even the energy to try to improve things seems in increasingly short supply.”

Saito: “It seems to me that the cause may lie in the fact that people have, in some sense, been ‘left behind.’ Machines have advanced in both power and speed. And although the ‘automobile ‘ of a civilized society that brings together the fruits of this progress has been created, the people who must sit in the driver’s seat have not themselves matured to the point where they can properly fulfill that role. As a result, it is as though CHILDREN ARE CAUSING THE AUTOMOBILE OF SOCIETY TO CAREEN OUT OF CONTROL AND ARE THRILLING AT THE SPEED.
(From: The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra – A Discussion, Vol. II Page 119)

It is teachers across this country who are uniting to bring maturity and reason to the progress of education and therefore the progress of our civilization.

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