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Tenure, schmenur, something’s gotta give

Brooklyn Daily

I really hate to beat a dead horse, but this whole tenure mishegas deserves another visit.

I’m really tired of all the carping. “I have too many students,” “I don’t have enough free periods,” “I don’t get properly compensated,” “It’s the principal’s fault.” Blah, blah, blah.

The average days worked in a year for educators is 180. To add insult to injury it’s not even a full eight-hour day. With lunch, study, and break periods the average teacher teaches about a six and one-half hour day.

Since the 1960s, class sizes have steadily gone down (I picked those years because that’s when I was a student and that’s when there were 40-45 students in my class) — it’s also when Albert Shanker and the United Federation of Teachers held the first teacher strike (1960). When my daughter started school, some forty years later, the average class size was 24 to 27 children. That’s a lot smaller.

A report in the Post headlined “Can’t ex-spell idiots” blew the whistle on an English teacher that couldn’t spell, and another that took off 39 times in one year and was late 16 times.

Yet neither was kicked out. How do you explain that away? The answer is tenure. Each had more than 15 years on the job.

One reader commented, “What if the shoe were on the other foot? How would you feel if the newspaper you wrote for fired you because of an unjust reason?”

Newspapers, networks, banks, shops, and every other business lets people go for unjust reasons, all the time. Ergo, the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” was coined. Build a bridge — get over yourself.

The level of incompetence at schools is way over the limit of acceptance. No union or entity should wield the kind of power that keeps incompetents in the classroom. The mayor and governor are correct: something has to give.

The whambulance whimps find it easier to blame someone or something else for the breakdown in our education system. But the simple fact remains: bad teachers exist and the quality of education has gone way down. It has to stop.

Yes, some of the problems are parents not parenting, but the bottom line is that teachers are providing sub-par educations and our children are coming out of school unable to read or put a string of words together in a coherent and grammatically correct manner.

The time has come for the excuses to end — if you can’t do your job, no amount of tenure should keep you in. Mea culpa to all the deserving, hard-working teachers out there, however you are amply compensated so stop whining.

Not for Nuthin, I work a full year, don’t get off every holiday under the sun, and don’t make nearly as much as the average teacher, yet like millions of other workers in the non-union, non-tenured world, I do my job and do it the best I can. So stop whining. It’s so not attractive.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues every Wendesday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail her at jdelbuono@cnglocal.com.

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A FRIEND from BROOKLYN says:
BRAVO!!!! You said it correctly. Short of axe murder it is impossible to get rid of a school teacher. There is dead wood in every school and it takes a super herculean job for an administrator to get rid of an incompetent teacher. In education the reward for that incompetent teacher is a lighter program. The payoff for a great teacher is more work.
Feb. 1, 2012, 4:59 am

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