Illinois to pass education reform – Make it easier to fire bad teachers

by Ben Hoffman

The new bill to be signed into law by Democratic Governor Pat Quinn makes it more difficult for teachers to strike by requiring 75% of the teachers to go out on the picket line. But more important, it makes it easier to fire bad teachers. It streamlines the process from the current two years to a more reasonable three months.

The biggest problem with our public school system is teacher tenure. Once a teacher has tenure, it’s almost impossible to fire him or her. Even the most egregious acts of incompetence such as violence against a student or sleeping in the classroom generally aren’t grounds for dismissal because of the power of the teachers unions. We can dump billions and billions of dollars into the school system, but as long as we have bad teachers, student achievement and teacher morale of good teachers will remain low.
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6 Comments to “Illinois to pass education reform – Make it easier to fire bad teachers”

  1. It’d be great if they had any way to figure out who the bad teachers are, instead of just firing those teachers who give a few administrators a pain in the ass, though they are far and away the best ones.

  2. Why do you think teacher tenure is a problem? It’s not a problem in California, it doesn’t exist in Texas, and they’ve stopped it in New York.

    Our three biggest states have no real tenure. Where is tenure a problem, and how?

    All tenure guarantees is fair due process. Is the Fifth Amendment really that big a drag on the U.S. economy? It’s not a drag on education, either.

    • [Where is tenure a problem, and how?]

      It’s a big problem in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. They can’t get rid of bad teachers and too much money goes towards administration. Tenure is a problem in universities, also. I had one god-awful teacher who got terrible reviews from pretty much all the students, but they couldn’t get rid of her because she was tenured. Read a bit about Michelle Rhee and her attempts to reform the D.C. schools. Her biggest obstacle was the teacher’s union and tenure.

      [Is the Fifth Amendment really that big a drag on the U.S. economy?]

      That’s hardly a 5th Amendment issue.

  3. Oh, it’s precisely a 5th Amendment issue. The 5th gives due process to criminals; tenure gives due process to teachers.

    Why should we treat criminals better than teachers? We teachers get the message that you hate us, you hate the education we give your children, and you’d rather we do something else.

    Who’d ever have thought my teaching about George Washington would be considered guerilla war?

    Michelle Rhee instituted a lot of tests. I’m not sure what getting rid of bad teachers has to do with that — I see no evidence anyone was hampered from getting rid of bad teachers.

    Teachers who knew the tests didn’t help? Those seem to be the ones Rhee aimed at.

    • [Oh, it’s precisely a 5th Amendment issue. The 5th gives due process to criminals; tenure gives due process to teachers.]

      So you’re saying teachers are criminals? 🙂

      But seriously, due process to those who are accused of a crime is essential to protect the right of freedom. Teachers don’t have a right to teach. It’s a privilege. And while no one should be fired for trivial reasons, it shouldn’t take two years to get rid of bad teachers.

      Here’s an article about the education cartel. There was also a decent video about the topic called The Cartel. Now I realize that these sources may be a bit biased, but I’ve heard teachers complain about bad teachers, also.

  4. So you’re saying teachers are criminals?

    No, I’m saying we shouldn’t treat teachers worse that criminals. We shouldn’t give teachers fewer rights than criminals.

    I’m saying you should stop regarding teachers as guilty of crimes.

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