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22 October 2004: Review of Tenure (3 of 4)
I wish I could say that this is the only dark side of the tenure system that Iíve ever experienced, but unfortunately, that would be far from the truth. More than dehumanize beginning teachers, my experience has been that tenure unjustifiably protects veteran teachers. Now at this point, I want to be clear on semantics. Veteran is not synonymous with effective. By veteran, I mean experienced enough to have been given tenure. What happens when you have a veteran teacher who is not effective? Well, in my observations, very little. I have seen these teachers ignore helpful suggestions, snub district and site supervisors, and compromise their studentsí education without recourse. Where all internal and external measures of achievement show consistent deficiencies in a particular classroom, Iíve watched years go by without any action taken by administrators. Their defense is always to turn to the tenure system. If there are ways to terminate tenured teachers based on poor performance, many principals donít know how to do it.