mbible1utk's comment history

mbible1utk said...

The problem is that this system does not take EVERYTHING into account. I'll give a personal example: my wife is a 3rd grade teacher. She works her tail off, brings work home, is at the school from 7am til 5pm working on lesson plans. No one can honestly say she does not work hard. However, she has kids in her class that don't even know the right way to hold a pencil! These kids don't know things they should know by the time they reach third grade, and I'm not just talking about pencil holding techniques. She has to spend so much time going back and teaching kids things they should know before they reach third grade that she doesn't get to spend a lot of time on standards based materials.

That's what the evaluation system is missing. They need to take the time to dig down to the REAL problems first. Find out where the drop off is. Maybe it's a problem with the curriculum, maybe it's a problem with the people teaching it.

Another major fault is that these tests have some teachers so worried that the ONLY material they teach is what is going to be on the standards based test. For her grade, it's Math and English. Some of the teachers don't even teach science and social studies simply because that's not on the test. This evaluation system has lead so many teachers to go into "job protection mode" rather than teacher mode.

Despite my beliefs that tenure has bad characteristics, it's not an idea that needs to be scrapped. If we want to keep teachers out of job protection mode, we need to put a light at the end of the tunnel. I would propose a restructuring of tenure that would look something like this...

Years 1-6 as a teacher have no guarantees, and are based on year-to-year contracts

Years 7-10 would remain on year-to-year contracts, however there would be an available severance package should they be terminated that would include....

If fired at the end of year 7, 1/2 years severance pay

If fired at the end of year 8, 1 year severance pay

If fired at the end of year 9, 1 1/2 year severance pay

If fired at the end of year 10, 2 years severance pay

The reason for the severance pay being that teachers are heavily committed to the field that they are in. Basically, if they can't teach, you've rendered their degree useless, as there really aren't any other jobs that take those credentials.

Anyone over 10 years in teaching would be granted tenure, but based on a three strike policy. Basically, they would continue to be evaluated, but even with a poor evaluation in one year, they would not be able to be fired. They would get a chance to fix it by the next year, and if they address every issue in that evaluation by the next evaluation, they are free from that time frame. Essentially they have 2 evaluations to fix items on a bad one before they get fired. This way, they have job security, but not immunity.

November 8, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.

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