Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Columnist gets it right on tenure

Hammond Daily Star columnist Lil Morando gets it exactly right in this journal entry. It should be read by every member of the Louisiana Legislature, because they will be barraged with bills aimed at abolishing teacher tenure next spring.

It should also be required reading for voters in Board of Elementary and Secondary Education District 6, where incumbent member Chas Roemer has made an obsession of his crusade to get rid of tenure.

With politicians like Roemer banging the drum about tenure, Morando makes an important point: "The reason tenure exists is to keep politics out of the system, to make sure that when teachers are fired it is because they are incompetent. At a time when we should be working to keep politics out of our school system, 'getting rid of tenure' would do just the opposite."

She revisits what educators already know, that tenure is not lifetime job security, nor does it prevent administrators from firing poorly performing teachers. Tenure simply guarantees that there will be a fair, open process to ensure that a teacher's rights are respected.

Morando's conclusion is one that all of us should take to heart: "Yes, Louisiana education needs reforms, but the goal of all reforms must be to improve education for all our children. Getting rid of tenure and laying off teachers will not accomplish that goal."

No comments: