Why should teachers get tenure at all?

May 05, 2010

In response to state Sen. Paul Pinsky's opinion piece ("A flawed '50% formula,'" May 4). I agree with his concern for an honest discussion about fairly evaluating Maryland teachers' performance.

However, the telling point in his piece was about the tenure threshold being raised from two to three years. In a high stakes performance based career such as teaching I see absolutely no rationale for "tenure" being given. Period. As a parent in Montgomery County I've seen the difficulty of principals' being unable to fire or demote longstanding low performing teachers. At one of our local schools, it took a sustained outcry from parents before a longstanding, poorly performing teacher was re-assigned (and they remained within the school).

I am a strong supporter of unions, but not when they obstruct performance based outcomes, otherwise known as our children's education.

Jon Lickerman, Takoma Park

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