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Florida Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign legislation that would eliminate teacher tenure for teachers hired after July 1 of this year and instead opt for merit pay which will go into effect in 2014.

This is a good first step.  The unfortunate aspect to this bill is that it doesn’t eliminate tenure retroactively.  I understand there are likely legal issues in doing so, but I can’t think of any other profession which practically gives somebody a job for life.  So bad teachers with tenure stay on the payroll unfortunately.  One thing that watching Waiting for Superman did for me was to help illustrate how hard it is to fire bad teachers.

Even here in Iowa even without a tenure system it is still very, very difficult to eliminate bad teachers.  Jason Glass, Director of the Iowa Department of Education, is supportive of merit pay, but I believe it is very unlikely to see legislation like this go through the Iowa General Assembly anytime soon.

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1 comment
  1. If it looks like smoke, if it smells like smoke, if it burns your eyes as smoke, guess what? It’s smoke! The Republicans were elected to create jobs, a task the Democrats were unable to do in this flattened, war weary economy. So, I may be missing something here, but, the thinking is that if we dismantle the unions, and get rid of teacher tenure, this will create jobs? And, as Dr. Phil says, “How is that working for you?” A few facts: tenure (in New York State) is not a job guaranteed for life. Cite: Commissioner’s Regulations 3020(a) conduct unbecoming of a teacher. Contrary to public opinion, you can get rid of ‘bad teachers’. You just have to follow the rules. Fact number two: teacher unions do not give tenure; that is the job of the employer, the school district. How did a good teacher morph into a bad one? Can you get apples from oranges? Teachers are protected from political misadventures from elected board members through this LEGAL protection of tenure. Fact number three: teachers cannot go on strike. The Taylor Law forbids this, an trust me, it is costly to break this law. Fact number four: teachers must earn a MASTERS degree to keep their job (in New York State). Fact number five: Waiting for Superman is a MOVIE, made in HOLLYWOOD. It’s function is to make money from viewers. It is not a published educational journal, nor is it a government study, let alone a university publication. So, let’s get back to job creation. You beg the question, why would anyone want to become a teacher? Good question. “When the student is ready, a teacher appears.” (Buddist Proverb). I fear that this current wave of lunacy will threaten not only the dedicated, talented teacher pool in our land, but will also reach into the lives and futures of may deserving young minds who will never rise to their own level of excellence.

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