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Jail Bait

April 29, 2011 Comments off

There are some things better left unsaid, or so I have heard.  Many conflicts of public education  are on the news and discussed daily throughout our society.  Everyone has seemed to come to the conclusion that our public education system has issues and needs reformed.  With favoritism and politics in today’s high schools, many teachers and students are led to believe that they can do whatever they want without suffering any consequences.  This attitude leads to the major issue of teacher-student sex scandals.

My senior year of high school, my school went under a private investigation.  This investigation was put on by the school board and was meant to look into inappropriate teaher-student relationships.  It all started when our middle-aged gym teacher received a naked picture of a student in the mail!  He then innocently reported it.  Everyone knew with the police now involved, they were going to start asking questions.  After no leads to the naked picture scenario, they went on to investigate three specific teacher-student relationships.

One of these relationships involved a good friend of mine who was a varsity girl’s basketball player.  We all had noticed that our friend and the substitute teacher/ assistant girl’s basketball coach would disappear into the girl’s basketball locker room.  She had confirmed our suspicions weeks before the investigation even started.  When it came time to be questioned by the principal about the situation, everyone became silent.  The questioning however seemed to be less than satisfactory and it was obvious that the faculty knew the rumors were true but just did not want to get this new  up and coming teacher in trouble.  He had gone to the same high school and it seemed as if everyone turned the other cheek.  He disappeared from the classroom for the rest of the school year right up until right before graduation and didn’t finish out the season as the girl’s assistant basketball coach.  As soon as we graduated, my friend and the basketball coach became inseparable.  He currently teaches at the same school and continues to hold the position as assistant girl’s basketball coach.

The other teacher-student relationship in question was between our history teacher and the homecoming queen.  People began talking when everyone started to notice her in his classroom between class periods and before and after school.  She also made it well-known that their relationship was friendly ( to say the least).  As far as I know, no student was even questioned about this relationship and it blew over very quickly.  It is easy to reason that it wasn’t brought up because of both of their high social standings.  Their relationship fizzled out after we graduated and he went on to be promoted and became the middle school’s principal.

Lastly, a girl soccer player and special education teacher were in question.  She was also my friend at the time.  He was new to the county and did not have connections through the school faculty or school board.  When it came to the investigation in their case however, they were both honest.  They explained they had text messaged back and forth a few times but it had never gone beyond that.  Because of this honesty, he was fired.  The school deemed his behavior as unethical.

The examples I have given are just my own encounters of this problem.  Teacher-student sex scandals happen all over the nation ( Jagodzinski).  In fact, it has been continuing to happen for years.  From my own experiences, it would be easy to blame this epidemic on male teachers not being able to control their own desires.  However, this crime is not only committed commonly by male teachers but female ones also.  One of the most well-known cases is Mary Kay Letourneau and Villi Faulaau ( Cavanagh 29).  In this case, she reaped her 6th grade student, went to jail for seven years, and then married him upon her release (Cavanagh 32).  The family of Mary Kay and Villi also begged the General Attorney’s office to allow then to deal with the matter within their own families ( Cavanagh 31).

Just because sex scandals are a rarely heard of issue in public education doesn’t mean that the issue isn’t as relevant as others .  This issue leads back to trust in our public school system.  Teachers make the sole decision as to how are kids are to be educated.  Evaluating them as a teacher, always leads back to what type of relationship they have with the students. Thus, to truly evaluate a teacher and get to know them as a person and educator, it is a must to look at their relationships with students.

The first step to fixing this problem is being able to realize what we are doing wrong.  We cannot go about things with such ease and we must make these issues public! Rape and sexual harassment is not okay.  Some people such as Mary and Villi have argued that their love is true and they shouldn’t be punished for it (Jagodzinski).  There have also been debates on legal age high school students and as to whether having relations with teachers should be illegal.  Never the less we must remember that these high school students are still developing children and teacher-student relations are illegal in all fifty states.  Making things disappear because it is the easy thing to do isn’t the right thing to do.

The next step is to come to an agreement on what is the line we must draw in teacher-student relationships.  The law says that the minor is always innocent (Jagodzinski).  Thus every teacher needs to realize they will be held accountable for their own actions!

Lastly, we all have to make an effort.  It’s easy to cover the truth up to make people feel better.  But in reality we must approach this as benefiting the greater good.  One day we will have kids in high school.  Do you want them to have sexual relations with their teachers?

Sources

Jagodzinski, Jan. “Is There an Ethics of Diabolical Evil?  Sex Scandals, Family Romance, and Love In the School and Academy.” EBSCO. Springer, 2006. Web. 11 April 2011  http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=486860db-5649-48b6-b3da-9e84898749bd%40sessionmgr104&vid=5&hid=104.

Cavanagh, Shelia L. Sexing the Teacher. Canada: UBC Press, 2007. Print.

Teacher Bias?

April 27, 2011 8 comments

Teacher Bias?

            There are many events that go on in a school, but one general idea is that the student’s education is the most important factor of all. In turn, most schools will try to do everything they can to try and make sure that the students get the most out of their school experience. There are many factors that can increase or decrease the level of experience the student receives; teacher pay, standardized testing, teacher training, and college admissions are just a few topics that contribute to this. One problem that is overlooked by school administration is teacher bias.

Teacher bias is where teachers will play favorites according to the clique status of the student. For an example, band kids in a math class are all receiving bad grades. These students go in before and after school to get help on everything that they do not understand. Yet, they are still receiving bad grades. One girl thinks that this is incorrect so she decides to check her grades online. She finds that papers that came back with grades are entered as zeros in the grade book, as if she never turned in the work. She also finds that grades on the papers and grades in the grade book do not match, so she takes all of the papers to the teacher. The teacher enters the correct grades, and her grade goes from a low D to a high B. This issue was not a mistake. It was done on purpose because of teacher bias. The girl in this example was me, and that is why I chose to write about this particular topic.

Teacher bias can be considered a form of bullying. Barbara Coloroso’s book, The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School, breaks down what bullying is considered. (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=krsowK_K9OgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=what+teachers+can+do+to+reduce+cliques&ots=UsofP_uxXe&sig=nXmZYTwciNJTa8CKS74136Rlf70#v=onepage&q&f=false).  She describes bullies as tormentors because the bullied students are not just being teased. They are being tormented because the bullying affects the way they feel about themselves. Each year, 1 out of 13 people under the age of 19 attempt suicide due to bullying, a rate which has tripled in the last 20 years (http://www.suicide.org/). It is a teacher’s job to stop any bullying seen. To be a part of the bullying as a teacher is completely out of line. A reason for why a teacher may fall into this can be due to them being bullied as a student in high school. Some teachers want the acceptance from the popular students. They want to be the “cool” teacher (these are usually the ones that were bullied in high school). It is almost as if they are afraid of the popular students. Other teachers just do not like the “unpopular” kids. These teachers were the popular kids in high school. A person’s “clique status” usually sticks with them for the rest of their life (http://regions.hrsa.gov/adults/tip-sheets/default.aspx#educators). Some people argue that bullying is good for students. It could be as a way that readies them for how to deal with difficult people later on in life, but how would being bullied by a teacher do any good? It would only hurt the student’s self-confidence even more seeing as how the downing was coming from someone who is supposed to be a role model.

What can schools do to stop this? One thing they can do is observe their teachers better. It might be useful to get someone who the teacher does not know to observe for them, that way the teachers will not “put on an act” while being watched by an administrator. Another thing that they could do is take into account the “clique status” of the students getting bad grades. Administrators and teachers are well aware of the cliques students belong to. It might also help for them to discourage any clique activities when they are seen. Penelope Eckert, an anthropologist that studies high school students, believes that cliques are unhealthy to students. She states that students join cliques to be a part of something and experience different types of personalities. Unfortunately, this is harmful to their individuality, and their education. They become so involved in being accepted, that they try to be like someone their not and completely throw aside their education http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=RtTZ230kVPYC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=cliques+in+highschool&ots=NVL8wPGu1x&sig=cuS1hQTUFOyzjDsWmKJ8dFybedI#v=onepage&q&f=false(). The most important thing every member of faculty in a school can do is learn as much as they can about every kind of bullying, and know the best strategies to take when trying to solve the problem (http://regions.hrsa.gov/adults/tip-sheets/default.aspx#educators ).

If the main focus of a school is the student’s education, then why do things such as teacher bias go on? One of the most common reasons that nothing is done about teacher bias is because the administrators do not believe the students when they try to tell them that it is going on. When I tried to tell my administrators, even though I had evidence to back it up, they still seemed to ignore it. They could have thought that I had something against the teacher, or they were afraid to confront the teacher about it. This could be because the administrators are afraid to upset or fire the teacher because they have been there for a long time (usually longer than the administrators themselves) (http://regions.hrsa.gov/adults/tip-sheets/default.aspx#educators ). In conclusion, administrators and teachers must make themselves aware of these issues if they want any chance of stopping them. If nothing is done about teacher bias, it may harm the student’s education, which is something no one would want to do on purpose.

Works Cited

Coloroso, Barbara. The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School. New York: Harper Collins, 2003. Print.

Ekert, Penelope. Jocks and Burnouts: Social Categories and Identity in the High School. New York: Teachers College Press, 1989. Print.

McEvoy, Alan. Teachers Who Bully Students: Patterns and Policy Implications. Illinois: Research Press, 2005. Print.

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support. Suicide.org. n.d. Web. 4 April, 2011.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Stop Bullying Now. Widmeyer,  n.d. Web. 4 April, 2011.

Quality teachers: Essential for a Good Education

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

In general, as people we have the desire to want to become successful by achieving our goals. However, a person’s motivation in pursing their goal can be effected by their environment.  Such as, college students pursue an education to help them achieve their goals in becoming successful.  However, a teacher’s teaching approach can effect a student’s motivation in wanting to learn.

As a student I have experienced classroom environments where the teacher did not demonstrate enthusiasm towards the topic that was being taught, which did not encourage me to want to learn.  Therefore, it was very hard for me to remain focused in the class thus, my grades were negatively affected.  On the other hand, I have experienced a classroom environment where the teacher was enthusiastic about the topic, which encouraged me to want to learn.  Therefore, it was very easy for me to remain focus and retain the information being taught in the classroom.  The teacher’s enthusiasm caused me to enjoy what I was learning thus, my grades were positively affected.  In fact, I began sharing the information that I had learned with my family members.

As you can see, a teachers approach to teaching in a classroom can be motivating to a student’s ability to want to learn.  This can be accomplished through several techniques such as, hands on activities, students work on small group projects, discussions or debates on the topic, and relating everyday issues to the curriculum.

There are many strategies that can help teachers with motivating their students.  One effective way is letting students voice their opinions.  By allowing students to express themselves during class discussion can increase class participation and enhance their critical thinking skills.  Also, it can help establish a student’s sense of belonging which will help the students become comfortable with their peers and their environment.  Also, allowing students to make the decisions to certain actions can help increase the engagement of the class.  For example, allowing the students to choose their lab partners, due dates, assignments and grading scales.  However, the most effective way a teacher can motivate his or her students is relating the everyday issues to the curriculum that is being taught.  This technique creates meaning and adds value to the material which would improve their education and would motivate the student to want to learn.  Karin Kirk from Montana University states, “that connecting to the students outside lives, and adding everyday factors to the curriculum can cause students to produce interest and better focus.”

Having students more motivated to learn insure that more information will be retained due to the interest the student will develop.  According to Motivating Students to Learn, “retention levels are increased when the information presents interest to the learner.  It causes individuals to want to learn and embrace more information about the topic.  By relating everyday situations it gives students a chance to grasp the information and fully understand it which later improves test scores.  Also, it helps students understand the value and importance of the information being taught.”

If teachers would enhance their teaching strategies, which include motivating their students effectively, there would be a decrease in dropout rates.  Meaning, if students were engaged and enjoyed what they are learning, more students would excel in school, not fail.  However, when students are not enjoying or understanding what they are learning the students will become discouraged, thus more dropout rates.  According to Darling Hammond (author of The Flat World of Education) “the decrease motivation in classrooms will increase drop outs rates by 40%.”  Therefore, motivation in a classroom environment is very important.

In the world of education, many individuals will argue that teaching the basic information and practicing test taking skills is the best way to improve education.  However, motivating a student’s ability to want to learn is the best way to reach a student who wants, desires and goals are to succeed.

Work cited:

Teachers pay

April 26, 2011 1 comment

When we all look back on our schooling we can always pick out that teacher who was an absolutely horrible, just didn’t care and it reflected in their teaching. This in the end hurts no one but you. If we could eliminate these teachers what would the future be? With more high quality teachers the sky is the limit.

Teachers are the largest single budget items of schools, and in my opinion teachers are the most important determinate of school quality. So then you would want the best teachers for your school. What school does not strive for that? The biggest question is how to get high quality and the best teachers in your school? The simplest answer to that question would be more money. In no way does giving a teacher more money do they teach better, but they may make a better effort to prepare to the best of there abilities, most people would be very appreciative of the increase. It opens up many other doors of opportunities. For instance with now above average salaries you would could a different tier of teachers that you would not have gotten before. The number one reason more students and especially your elite students don’t go into teaching is because you simply don’t make enough money to live the lifestyle you otherwise would with a top notch degree and job.

Another advantage to raising teacher salary is a much lower teacher turnover rate. Now with a sub stainable salary schools will not have to worry about losing their good teachers to other schools because the pay would be set at the state level. Also this would take care of the teacher shortage which is a result of the low pay. With the more money you create a higher job market along with an increasing demand. Schools now have the ability to evaluate, and analysis potential workers. Which would answer the questions of how to eliminate the not up to par teachers. Now just increasing the pay for teachers does not solve the education problem there are still flaws in this idea. Due to the now attractiveness of the teachers union now you will get “money grubbers” people who are strictly in it for money, One possible way to stop this would be to put the teachers a screaming process that would concentrate on the applicants moral’s and character this would give you a better understanding of the individual.

Opposing people have said we can not finically support more teaching funding, how do school systems pay for such an increase? Simple you raise taxes nobody likes to here that but the government makes up reasons to do it, so let’s make it mean something and affect the country future in a positive way.  This would create a better educated population which could do great things and affect our youth in a positive way. It would take an estimated 2 million dollars per state to make this work, but a required sacrifice for the greater good would have to take place. Another idea floating around would be state stimulus funds that the federal government issued to each state strictly for the use of teachers pay.

Mike Antonucci fromCaliforniaUniversitysuggested that system of bonuses for improved test scores would help improve teacher quality. This could be very effective in improving student test scores. While also giving teachers more incentivizes to make a better effort. Could also be a less financial burden on school systems has well.

One question may be how determining the pay for teachers? With the system we have now Public school teachers are paid according to a union-negotiated, one-size-fits-all, seniority-based salary schedule. This means that high-performing teachers are paid the same as mediocre or incompetent teachers. Freeing teachers from seniority-based pay scales would force schools to directly compete with each other to attract and retain good teachers. Administrators would need to provide appropriate financial rewards to teachers who excel or risk losing them to a competing school. Mediocre or incompetent teachers would be forced to improve their skills or choose another line of work. These changes would bring the teaching profession into line with other professional occupations. The way to determine a high performing teacher is simple how the students due on the Standardized test. There may be flaws in basing a salary off of one test but that’s what the State bases on how smart a student or well a school does by, so if students are graded on this test then so can the teachers. .

Very basic idea with several questions still to be answered but I truly believe it is the answer to our education problem teachers are everything when it comes to our youth and who would not like to have the smartest and brightest when it comes to teaching. In some cases simply throwing money at the problem is not the answer but in this case maybe it is.

Work Cited

(How to improve the supply of high-quality teachers/Hanushek A. Eric, Rivkin G. Steven/Brookings Papers on Education Policy © 2004 The Brookings Institution)

(Increasing teachers pay the right way/Brouillette J. Matthew/Mackinac Center for Public Policy 2000 inMidland,Michigan.)

(One yard below: 2/ Antonucci, Mike/ The Education Intelligence Agency conducts public education research, analysis and investigation.

High School Education Reform

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

It is a well-known fact that the high school education system in America is crumbling. According to the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment report, U.S ranks 17th in science, 14th in reading and 25th in mathematics. This study was done for students in the age of fifteen. Even though it is a well-known fact that the high school education system is crumbling, there is still an ongoing debate of how to fix the problem. Such debates include raising teacher’s salary, removing standardized testing and offering more specialized courses for high school students’. These are a few of the debates ongoing but the most brought up solution to the problem is raising and generalizing teacher’s salary. Raising and generalizing teacher’s salary is a solution to the crumbling education system and several people such as President Obama support this solution. This is what I suggest should be done in order to fix the education system.

In the U.S, as of 2009, the yearly median high school teacher’s salary was $52,200 with the lowest 10% earning $34,600 and the top 10% earning $82,000. These salaries, compared to other professions,are relatively low and insufficient compared to the work teachers put in and the importance of teachers to the society. Teachers are the passers of knowledge and information to younger generation, so teachers deserve more respect and higher pay.

The amount of salary high school teachers make is barely sufficient to raise a family. A friend of mine, who lives in New Mexico, has a family of four with his parents both teachers. The average teaching salary in the town where he lives in New Mexico is $41,000. His mum and dad make a total average of $82,000. This might sound like a lot of money but the calculated yearly living wage to support a family of four in the town where he lives in New Mexico is $40,261 and after paying expenses and bills, the money is barely sufficient. This is some of the problems teachers face and when a teacher cannot successfully take care of his/her family expenses, how do you suppose he/she comes to class in a good mood ready to take care and teach other kids?

Increasing teacher’s salary will increase teacher’s devotion and motivation to do their work. High school students are not fully prepared for college because some teachers don’t push students to work hard; they make school work very easy and are too lenient to the students. A suggested and backed up reason for low teacher motivation by Academic Leadership, an international organization that reviews educational problems in the U.S and other parts of the world, is low teacher salary. If teachers are paid less, they feel that they are not being paid well for their services and therefore, do not put in much effort with the students and don’t become personally involved with the students.

A better salary equals a better standard of living which equals a better attitude to life. This might sound too simplistic and general and some people might argue that there are other factors that affect ones attitude to life but we all have to admit that in the economic situation of the world now, money is a major factor that influences ones attitude to life. So, a good salary equals a happy teacher and a happy teacher equals a happy classroom. Teachers become more personal with students and play a major role in the students’ life; therefore, the students perform better. This statement is backed up by research done on CNN- Black in America Part 2by a renowned and famous journalist with a long history in education- Soledad O’Brien. The research highlighted a school in the inner city of Chicago. The school was headed by Principal Perry who was personally involved in the life of the students and he encouraged the teachers to do the same thing. Students were more open to the teachers and discussed personal issues with the teachers which the teachers helped them fix. Once personal issues were resolved, the students became more focused in their studies and all achieved good grades. This school boasts a 100% graduation and college acceptance rate.

The saying from the bible “to whom much is given much is expected” applies to high school teachers also. If teachers are paid higher, the school administration can demand more from the teachers and the teachers will be forced to work harder so as to meet the pay they receive. Higher pay will draw in more experienced and qualified teachers and teachers will work harder since the competition will be greatly increased.

Also, there has to be a generalized amount of income teachers can get i.e. there has to be an improved allocation of funds among schools. This will discourage good teachers from migrating to a community that has higher teacher pay; the ratio of good teachers will be balanced.

Opponents of raising teacher’s salary such as Kati Haycock, the president of Education Trust, might argue that teachers do not need an increase in salary instead; the government must enrich the rigor and relevance of teachers programs and ratchet up their admissions requirement. Although this argument is one of the solutions to the crumbling education system, this does not mean teachers don’t need an increase in salary because if teaching programs are made more vigorous and enriched, talented teachers will not be attracted to the teaching profession if the pay after going through such vigorous programs is low. Higher teacher salary will attract talented teachers and improve the financial status of teachers; thus increase the respect of teaching profession among other professions.

This proposed solution is only one of the many other solutions out there. Although there are so many proposed solutions, only a handful has been implemented and it is not enough. The issue of high school education quality decline needs to be resolved quickly unless U.S will face a major setback in education and high school students will become less prepared for college.

Teacher Pay Reform: and the measure of teacher effectiveness

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

School systems in New York City, Denver and Houston all offer compensation packages that reward teacher performance. Several states, like Florida, Minnesota and Texas, have allowed millions of dollars to performance pay to teachers. In 2009, the Obama administration designated a substantial portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the development and implementation of teacher pay-for-performance programs.
The popularity of these programs lies in what some see as a link between well-designed performance pay plans and improved teacher effectiveness. Proponents reason that effective teachers should be rewarded. They also argue that rewards can attract more qualified applicants to teaching, especially in hard-to-staff subjects or schools. Finally, supporters believe pay-for-performance programs encourage less effective teachers to improve and will reduce teacher turnover.
Challenges do exist though. Most current is the difficulty of measuring teacher performance. Even in states and districts using value-added measures, to make sure accurate student-teacher links and data systems are developed enough to make high-stakes personnel decisions can be difficult. Critics also contend that individual performance awards may negatively affect the collaboration among professionals that is essential to teaching, particularly if the award structure sets up teachers competing against one another for bonuses.

Other arguments against performance pay programs involves the issue of multitasking. True is gives the multidimensional nature of teaching, how is it possible to implement a program that captures all of the important roles school personnel play? Focusing on too few dimensions could result in a narrowing of the curriculum, better known as teaching to the test.

Despite the relatively thin knowledge base around the design, implementation and operation of performance pay in education, a few key ideas are emerging as school districts put in place pay-for-performance plans and researchers evaluate those efforts. It’s possible to distill some lessons that have been learned from recent incentive pay programs in an effort to better inform superintendents and their school boards as they examine potential implementation.

As research progresses around performance pay, six key elements are emerging:

•  the importance of gathering a performance pay program in a district’s larger reform priority list and setting  it to key district priorities;

•  the need for ongoing, affective communication about all areas of the program;

•  the need of stakeholder involvement at all levels of the program;

•  the need of stable funding streams and meaningfull rewards;

•  the importance of many, well defined performance measures centered on district goals and priorities; and

•  the importance of sophisticated, well managed and maintained data systems.

One of the most challenging aspects of developing a performance pay program is how the program measures teacher effectiveness. The majority of performance pay programs today rely on standardized achievement test (SAT) scores as their primary device of measurement. This has been the case for many years; arguments emerge as to whether test scores are a valid and reliable measure of performance. These arguments have intensified as greater stakes are placed on scores from standardized tests.

Critics of pay for performance say the unfairness of a single test being used as the measure of teacher affectiveness and bonuses. But according to a 2008 publication from the Center for Educator Compensation Reform, approximately 69 percent of teachers teach courses that are not covered by a standardized assessment. This could be an issue.  While sophisticated value-added measures hold promise for measuring teacher affectiveness, these criticisms and concerns point to the need to incorporate multiple measures of teacher affectiveness into a pay for performance program.

Other measures of teacher effectiveness do exist. Teachers participating in Denver’s ProComp and Austin’s REACH work with their principal to develop two individualized, data-based learning goals for students. In New York City’s School Wide Performance Bonus Program, a school’s standing is determined, on the basis of student attendance and student, parent and teacher perceptions of the school learning environment.

But as education research, practice and policy remain to cooperate on the design and development of other measures of teacher effectiveness, involving classroom observation procedures, there is much work to be done before reliable, maintained measures are always available.

After measures are clearly found, a well devised data system is critical to the success of the program. Some district and state operated information systems are incapable to handle the data necessary to administer a teacher pay for performance program. The data is often retrieved from district and state information systems also are often muddled with errors that can wreak chaos on the operation of a performance pay or teacher bonus program.

I feel that the only way to reform teacher compensation is to have indivual class performance tests to show that the teachers are making progress so that they may receive bonuses or incentives. The best way to do this would be to have the teachers offer the curriculum they are attempting to teach and then at the end of the school year have a classroom test over that material that was being taught. In this way you kill two birds with one stone, you find out if the teachers are making progress to receive their extra compensation and you find out if the students are really learning the material. Also you find out the quality of the teachers in this way because if they are teaching well and the students are learning then the quality of that teacher must be above average.

Teacher Tenure

April 24, 2011 Leave a comment

The old sayings were graduate high school and get the career that will make you happy.  Then it was go to college in order to get the career for you.  Now it is getting to the point where you have to go to graduate school in order to get your master’s degree to do all that.  In order to attend college it cost a lot of money and time in order to get the degree.  The faster you get through college the less you have to pay, and the less time you have to be in school as well.  Unfortunately students now days are not prepared enough for college.  General pre-requisite classes are needed for them in order to take the college courses.  This causes the student to spend a lot more money than what they should have to if they were prepared knowledgeably.  The key question here is why students are lacking in general knowledge?  There are many reasons that could be link to this but we are going to discuss why tenure from teachers is the cause of this problem in America.

What teacher tenure is in fact a contract that protects the teacher’s career.  A teacher goes through an evaluation process after so many years teaching at a school then is granted Tenure.  The contract says that the teacher can not be laid off or fired from “arbitrary nonrenewal” (Teacher Tenure).  Teachers are even paid by salary instead of by wages.

Within Eaton High school where yours truly went there were so many teachers who had tenured but also had a bad characteristic behavior toward education.  Since these teachers had tenure their teaching dropped dramatically turning them into the cool teacher by not assigning homework.  This is a good thing to students but they don’t know any better about how education plays on their future.  These teachers only are about getting their money by doing the least amount of work possible.  The only thing they kind of cared about was getting you out of high school by barely passing the minimum requirement so they wouldn’t have to see you again.  Teachers never educated the student about what college they should look into or what the student wanted to major in.  They didn’t even go into some of the demands of certain majors and type of education you need in to benefit them.  What the teachers thought was that if you passed the Graduation test then they have done their job.  Even making student knowledgeable of different colleges and scholarships out there was not mentioned.  In turn it is not helping our students get through college faster due to general knowledge they don’t obtain.  It also doesn’t make college less expensive for parents when their kids could have got scholarships.

What needs to be done is pushing the teachers to educate better.  According to Kersten which did a study with “291 Illinois School Board presidents” said that “51%” of the presidents announced that “eliminating teacher tenure would increase student achievement”.  On top of that he found out that “91%” of another majority of responses said “tenure law inhibits the dismissal of below average teachers.”  Which Michelle Rhee which was chief of the District of Columbia schools had a unique way of doing this.  The way is by taking away tenure and for those who did have tenure though would get a raise in their paycheck.  The reason for this is because; there will always be better people out there that are very good at teaching student who can take their job.

Now Tenure was thought up and is a great thing for teachers.  They do make sure that they can’t get fired for certain things like religion problems, or personal problems.  It also is great for them because, it makes sure that they get a certain salary of money each year no matter what.  This is a great thing for those teachers who actually want to make a difference in student’s lives.  Even for those really good teachers they may get that student who just doesn’t want to try anymore but that’s not all the teachers fault.   So Tenure is a good thing to protect them from getting fired so they can help may more students.

There are still bad things with tenure even though there are good things as well.  In turn teacher tenure should be existent but should also be able to be broken for those bad teachers.  So the teacher should have a choice of getting a pay raise for letting their tenure go just like Michelle Rhee proposed or keep it for this other option.  School will have more supervision of teachers around the schools.    So that when a teacher is not doing their job by helping their kids learn and making it a fun place to be then they should get their tenure taken away.  This will still increase the teacher’s motivation to teach students but also eliminate those bad teachers.  Tenure will still be available for those teachers who are making a difference but when they start to down fall then they will be gone.  This seems kind of harsh but there should be a three strike concept for teachers with tenure so they don’t get fired off a little thing.  Also there will be other teachers, supervisors, walking in to their classroom unannounced to make sure they are doing a good job. Then that supervisor will go to the education board of that school to talk about those teachers performances to make the decision if they should be let go or not.

Phillips, Elizabeth. “ECommons@Cornell: The Effect of Tenure on Teacher Performance in Secondary Education.” Handle Proxy. Web. 03 Apr. 2011. <http://hdl.handle.net/1813/14234>.

Gartner, Lisa. “Rhee Criticizes Teacher Tenure, Unions in Nonprofit Agenda | Lisa Gartner | Education | Washington Examiner.” Washington Examiner | Breaking News, Local News, & Political News | Washingtonexaminer.com. Web. 03 Apr. 2011. <http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/education/2011/01/rhee-criticizes-teacher-tenure-unions-nonprofit-agenda?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d2bbc0666a88b19,0&quicktabs_1=2>.

“Teacher Tenure – The Measure of Due Process” Louisiana Association of Educators. Louisiana Association of Educators, 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2011. < http://www.lae.org/cms/Teacher+Tenure+-+The+Measure+of+Due+Process/200.html >