Town Square

Pleasanton reacts to teacher tenure ruling

Original post made on Jun 20, 2014

The Pleasanton community is beginning to offer its reactions to last week's court ruling that found California's teacher tenure, dismissal and seniority laws unconstitutional for violating rights to equal treatment and a free public education.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, June 20, 2014, 7:45 AM


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Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 20, 2014 at 8:33 am

Changing the rules is the best thing that could happen for the benefit of the kids. In the real world people can actually be fired for incompetence in a relatively short time, now incompetent teachers can get the ax as well; it's long overdue.

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Posted by Meadowlark
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

I believe in teacher tenure. What needs to be changed is the length of time needed to qualify for tenure and the quality and frequency of the administrator's observations and evaluation. No one ever seems to wonder how it is that incompetent teachers were tenured in the first place.

If tenure is abolished completely, then some system of mediation and/or arbitration needs to be established to preserve academic integrity and to prevent harassment and unfair treatment of staff by vindictive administrators which, unfortunately, does occur.

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Posted by Jill
a resident of Mission Park
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:10 am

This is long overdue. In my own experiences as a student and in my experiences as a parent I have had to deal with tendered teachers who already have had 1 foot out the door but, they were holding on for a larger retirement package. Some of these teachers should've been let go or retired years before. I hope this will eliminate the anxiety over hearing who my child's teacher is going to be, hoping it's not the one know one wants because she has such a bad reputation and she is being protected under the old guidelines. Hopefully this will put The spotlight on the good teachers and the pressure on the bad teachers!

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Posted by lll
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:14 am

"unfair treatment of staff by vindictive administrators," I had to laugh. It is the other way around now. Just look at the teachers being vindictive to a school principal just recently.

The removal of tenure should be welcomed by good teachers. It is not fair to the good teachers that there are bad teachers making exactly the same amount of money, or more, as the good ones.

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Posted by Wondering
a resident of another community
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:37 am

Meadowlark's statements got me to wondering. Don't State and Federal employment laws protect ALL workers from the issues described? I realize this is an area I need educating in and haven't had a need to as I've never worked in a job that was covered by a union.

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Posted by positive change
a resident of Stoneridge
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

Glad to see this happening. I used to think that teaching was a noble calling. But after 3 kids and 12 years I've seen enough teachers that by the time my kids got to them they were either bored, mean or just plain DONE but still going on because of the prize at the end. Oh and let's not forget the killer schedule which is probably why half of them teach in the first place.
It's already a low stress job with great benefits, they should have the same parameters as the rest of us. Perks earned by merit, not awarded simply for showing up!

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Posted by Erin
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:27 am

A much needed step in the right direction to improving the quality of teachers. I have never understood why educators need special protections not afforded to the majority of the work force - protections that result in poor educators being essentially guaranteed jobs at the expense of quality education for children. 100% agree with Jill that it is an awful feeling when you are hoping to avoid a particular teacher and believe that justified complaints go nowhere because administration's hands are tied due to tenure.

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Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

I feel so strongly about this that I'm prepared to post 7 or 8 identical postings, all under different names, as I have done above.

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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 20, 2014 at 7:03 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Yes, pleasantonian, it is truly unfortunate when no one agrees with your union buddies, but the consistent comments only reinforce a problem that impacts many parents similarly. It may seem like a concerted effort to you by one of more people, but you have to understand that those of us with children in area schools have had enough of the protectionist attitude of those union backers and their efforts to shield teachers that should not be in contact with students any longer.

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Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm

There I go again! Nine comments in a row. I can't stop myself. Pleasanton schools have done so badly, we have to keep up the pressure. Teachers should have to deal with the likes of myself (the diseased one) on a daily basis. If anyone has any advice on other names I might use, I'd appreciate it!

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Posted by good ridinance tenure
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:00 pm

The only thing tenure protects is the teachers that can' teach, shouldn't teach, or have no business interacting with children. Hopefully the focus will shift from protecting teachers to ensuring students receive a quality education.

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Posted by Damon
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm

How did this system of tenure for public school teachers get started? I understand the tenure system for university professors, and I think that it is a good one. But in the case of university tenure, the screening is very rigorous and a newly appointed assistant professor can expect to spend many years of hard work before achieving tenure. And those that do achieve tenure don't slack off after getting tenure. The people who get tenure tend to have a strong work ethic ingrained in their character, and work just as hard after getting tenure as they did before getting tenure.

So I'm not against the idea of tenure in and of itself, but I'm not sure that I like the system of tenure currently practiced in public schools. For one, the screening process is much less rigorous than in the case of university tenure, I believe that I read that a public school teacher can get tenure in less than 2 years? That seems hardly long enough to thoroughly evaluate teachers and weed out any bad apples.

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Posted by Pleasantonian
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Oh, Good Ridinance, I like that name and enjoyed using it. It reflects my own high education and knowledge of what counts as good teach-in-ning and so forth.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

I support Unions and I also appreciate tenure. However, I have encountered a few teachers that need to be put out to pasture.

I also do not appreciate parents who are so obsessed that even mention of the word Union is a sin.

I prefer the word Plutonian! HOORAY!