To Tenure is to Disregard Value

The notion of tenure is despicable.

No, it’s not a matter of justifiably rewarding those teachers that have “done their time” and that may “deserve” such treatment. That is silly and irrational. And no, I am not a teacher-hater. I adore the profession and deem them to be of inestimable value. And no, I am not saying that all tenured teachers are complacent slugs. What I am saying is that tenure, the idea and the practice, should be banished; and that slugs exist everywhere.

Think about the concept for a moment. You are rewarding an individual for what is more or less their ability to last awhile, or some such similar euphemism.

Consider the consequences if a business decided to implement a similar rule. The business would go under in a heartbeat. Undoubtedly. Because, at the end of the day, you’re telling a working employee, after a certain, predetermined time period, that their job will be secure. That they don’t have to work as hard if they choose not to. That they may simply, and rather casually, go through the motions.

But those are really just the results, the reactions to implementation; and I don’t care much about that.

The crux of my concern is with the following:

Tenure is attained and maintained without (much, if any) regard to the only attribute that matters: the merit of the individual, and the value said individual brings to the institution. If the merit isn’t of worth, assessment should be made, and individuals of desired worth should come in and replace those of lesser worth. And this should be done constantly.

Never to rest on one’s laurels. Never to consider the duration of one’s employ as anything more than a number.

If you want to better schools, better the process by which you evaluate teachers.

Get rid of tenure.

If you want to get a taste of how difficult it is a task to fire a tenured teacher, take a gander at this in-depth LA Times article.

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons

 

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