The Governor’s Proposition 74 would extend the present probationary period for k-12 teachers from two to five years. Proponents argue that this will give administrators more time to be certain that they deserve “tenure”. Experience shows us that probationary teachers can get consistently good evaluations and still be let go by the district without reason or appeal. Why should a professional be put in this position for 5 years.
The proposal assumes that administrators are good evaluators, and that they use fair and reasonable criteria. There is no evidence to support these assumptions.
What is called “tenure” is simply the right to due process- an opportunity to improve and the right to a hearing for those who choose to contest the administrator’s decision.
Proposition 74 targets teachers as the problem in our public schools, without facing the problems of school budgets and finance. It misleads by claiming that tenure protects bad teachers, not acknowledging that tenure laws only provide due process guarantees.
Our real problem is finding ways to keep new teachers in the schools. Proposition 74 will discourage new teachers.
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