Opinion: Blaming Tenure May Be Free But it’s a Cheap Shot

Written by Tim Clifford for School Book

The big buzz in education circles is the recent decision in California by Judge Treu eviscerating tenure for teachers on the grounds that it is discriminatory for poor and underprivileged students.

It got me thinking about what else the esteemed judge could have struck down.

For example, he might have decreed that since poverty is the single greatest detriment to a student’s educational achievement, the wealthy would have to shell out new tax dollars to even the score. He also could have ruled that poor students would receive free healthcare and increased SNAP benefits to ensure they are well and well fed enough to take full advantage of the educational opportunities afforded them.

But Treu didn’t do any of those things to  improve the lot of children in California. He struck down teacher tenure. Why was tenure singled out when so many other societal factors weigh so much more heavily on educational outcomes for impoverished students?

The highly varnished version from the group Students Matter is that nine students, none of whom look older than 14, decided on their own that tenure was the bane of teaching, and battled those nasty teachers’ unions to secure their right to a fair education. The truth is that these kids appear to be pawns in an attempt by millionaire David Welch, founder of Student Matters, to snatch away the Holy Grail of education reform: teacher tenure.

Tenure is widely misunderstood. Continue reading at School Book.