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The Tenure Debate


									The Tenure Debate



The Tenure Debate Stephanie Faison, Kirsti Kimble, Belinda McGuire, Sherie Love, Jacklyn Roberts EDA 532 Grand Canyon University February 12, 2008

The Tenure Debate



The Tenure Debate


The Tenure Debate Tenure is a commonly used term in the education field referring to a specific status of freedom educators receive once they have emerged from probationary status. It is known throughout the education profession as the highly anticipated place of security teachers strive to reach. Tenure allows teachers freedom to teach more creatively and take chances in their classrooms without the worry of losing their jobs. Over the past decade, society seems to be challenging the concept of tenure more intensely debating on whether it is producing successful teachers or incompetent teachers. Is the security produced by tenure enabling teachers to do great things or allowing them to become unaccountable and rather stale? Are the concerns of society false regarding tenure producing more mediocre teachers? This is an essential issue that administrators must be aware of and take steps of prevention to protect tenured teachers from slipping into mediocrity or incompetency. Concerns continue to be expressed in regards to the effectiveness of tenure in today’s schools. The purpose of tenure was to protect teachers from capricious and arbitrary dismissal (Essex, 2005). Tenure was not only enacted for teacher’s security, but was a means to initiate higher student achievement. With the burden of job security being somewhat lifted off, teachers would be more apt to take risks and show their individual teaching talents increasing student’s overall understanding. While this seems to be the case for the majority of teachers, others seem to not be stepping up, but rather stepping down. Without the incentives of the probationary period, concerns rise regarding teachers neglecting to strive for excellent teaching practices.

The Tenure Debate


Misconceptions often occur regarding the issue of tenure. While tenure protects experienced teachers from dismissal without cause, tenured teachers are still expected to perform effectively in order to guarantee employment. Tenure status provides teachers that are doing their job effectively with employment beyond a contracted year and the right to due process and a hearing before dismissal (James, 2006). Tenure was enacted to provide motivation for teachers to excel in the teaching profession due to less job security anxiety, but does not eliminate teachers from being observed from administration and being held accountable for state objectives. Due to the reason of enactment and policies regarding tenure, tenure should be a motivational tool, not an instrument that produces incompetent teachers. Administrators must ensure tenured teachers are motivated and effectively educating students. If administrators are doing their job correctly and efficiently, tenure should not produce incompetent teachers, but exceptional teachers. While a few teachers might slip though the holes of administrational duties and become mediocre or incompetent, it is not due to tenure, but lack of administration or drive. The probationary period is put into place to make sure teachers are able to do their jobs and will successfully educate children in the future. Tenure is the freedom and security that allows teachers to ignite their abilities and knowledge and become extraordinary teachers.

The Tenure Debate


References Essex, N.L. (2005). School Law and the Public Schools (3rd ed.) New York: Pearson A and B. Hess, Frederick. (2007). The Facts About Teacher Tenure. Retrieved February 12, 2008 from James, Scott. (2006) Teacher Tenure. Retrieved February 12, 2008 from

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