Friday, September 30, 2005

Prop. 74. Voter guide

This is the argument in the Voter Guide. Note. It is not tenure. It is an extended probationary period.

Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status.
Dismissal. Initiative Statute.
Argument Against Proposition 7474
PROPOSITION
PROPOSITION 74 IS DECEPTIVE, UNNECESSARY,
AND UNFAIR. It won’t improve student achievement
and it won’t help reform public education in any
meaningful way. Furthermore, it will cost school districts
tens of millions of dollars to implement.
Proposition 74 doesn’t reduce class size or provide new
textbooks, computers, or other urgently needed learning
materials. It doesn’t improve teacher training or campus
safety. Nor does it increase educational funding or fi x
one leaking school roof.
PROPOSITION 74 IS DECEPTIVE BECAUSE
IT MISLEADS PEOPLE ABOUT HOW TEACHER
EMPLOYMENT REALLY WORKS. California teachers
are not guaranteed a job for life, which means they
don’t have tenure. All teachers receive after a two-year
probationary period is the right to a hearing before they
are dismissed.
VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 74.
Existing state law already gives school districts
the authority to dismiss teachers for unsatisfactory
performance, unprofessional conduct, criminal acts,
dishonesty, or other activities not appropriate to
teaching—no matter how long a teacher has been on the
job.
PROPOSITION 74 IS UNFAIR TO TEACHERS
BECAUSE IT TAKES AWAY THEIR RIGHT TO A
HEARING BEFORE THEY ARE FIRED. We give
criminals the right to due process, and our teachers
deserve those fundamental rights, as well.
Over the next 10 years, we will need 100,000 new
teachers. Proposition 74 hurts our ability to recruit and
retain quality teachers while doing absolutely nothing
to improve either teacher performance or student
achievement. Proposition 74 hurts young teachers
most. It will discourage young people from entering the
teaching profession at this critical time.
THIS UNNECESSARY ANTI-TEACHER INITIATIVE
WAS PUT ON THE BALLOT FOR ONLY ONE
REASON—to punish teachers for speaking out against
the governor’s poor record on education and criticizing
him for breaking his promise to fully fund our schools.
The governor says that Proposition 74 is needed.
But university researchers say that they know of no
evidence to support the claim that lengthening the
teacher probation period improves teacher performance
or student achievement. Good teaching comes from
mentoring, training, and support—not from the kind of
negative, punitive approach imposed by Proposition 74.
VOTE NO ON 74. Proposition 74 is designed to divert
attention away from the governor’s failure on education.
California schools lost $3.1 billion when he broke his
much-publicized promise to repay the money he took
from the state’s education budget last year. Now he has
a plan that budget experts and educators warn will cut
educational funding by another $4 billion.
Rather than punishing teachers, we should give them
our thanks for making a huge difference in the lives of
our children—and for speaking up for what California
schools and the students need to be successful.
PLEASE JOIN US IN VOTING “NO” ON
PROPOSITION 74.
BARBARA KERR, President
California Teachers Association
JACK O’CONNELL, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction
NAM NGUYEN, Student Teacher
http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/bp_nov05/voter_info_pdf/entire74.pdf
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