06 February 2007

Teacher Tenure

The Nome school district is likely going to have to lay off a few teachers before next year because declining enrollment means they don't need as many and they don't get as much money from the state. And given the state teacher tenure system, the people most likely to be laid off are the newest, youngest teachers.

I was thinking during tonight's School Board meeting that perhaps teacher tenure isn't the best of systems. Three teachers were commended by name for their work tonight and all three are non-tenured, young teachers. It strikes me that young teachers are the ones who have the most energy and enthusiasm to devote to the position because it's all new and they likely have fewer commitments outside of school.

Even if that's not the case, it strikes me as odd that the sole criterion for determining who stays and who goes is who has been around for three years and a day. Shouldn't children be taught by the best person for the job?

Of course, I'm sure there's some correlation between experience and the quality of instruction but there are also important indications of quality of instruction that are not related to experience.

Given how entrenched the teachers' unions are, I'm not likely to overturn their power. But it does make sense to at least have the conversation before the decisions are made.

1 comment:

Coldfoot said...

You are preaching to the choir.

But be warned:

"Best man for the job" is a code used amongst white racists, sexists, and homophobes.

Keep thinking like this and you will find yourself listening to Limbaugh, watching Hannity, and writing in "Newt Gingrich" for President.