Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Fight the lies: No on Prop. 74

Fight the Lies!
End the blame game !
Vote No on Prop. 74. Vote No on Prop. 75

There will be at least eight initiatives on the November 8 ballot, and three have particular importance to public schools.

74 Prop. 74 would extend the required probationary period for k-12 teachers from two to five years. Proponents say that this will give administrators more time to evaluate new teachers to be certain that they deserve “tenure”. Yet experience tells us that a probationary teacher can get consistently good evaluations and still be let go by a district without reason or an appeal.
Do California teachers have tenure? No. That is a misleading campaign spin.
What they have after two years is due process rights- an opportunity to improve, and the right to a hearing. Simply put, teachers have a right to a fair hearing before being fired.

Fortunately, through a decade of organizing and political work, teachers in public schools in California and many other states in the U.S. have achieved these rights to a fair hearing. Teachers, working with others, established these job protections to keep partisan politics out of the public schools. Teachers are protected from arbitrary and political dismissals.
Poor teachers are dismissed under the current system. Quality principals at times remove poor teachers. Tenure does not prevent the removal of the incompetent teachers. Good teaching comes from mentoring, training and support, not from arbitrary and political dismissals.
Why is this so important? Because arbitrary hiring and firing once happened frequently. Hiring and dismissal of teachers was too often a petty, patronage based, unprofessional process by school boards and principals. Protection of teachers’ rights is very important. It protects teacher’s freedom to speak and their basic citizenship rights. As a teacher you can speak out, disagree with your principal without having to fear that your school board or your principal is going to fire you.
Proposition 74 does nothing to improve learning or to attract and retain quality teachers. It targets teachers as the problem in our public schools, ignoring the inadequate levels of funding provided by the governor and the legislators. Over the next 10 years we will need 100,000 new teachers in California. Proposition 74 hurts our ability to recruit and to train new teachers. It will discourage young people from entering the teaching profession.

For more go to the Alliance web site link.
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