The laws of New Jersey are likely to force Anderson to fire teachers who everyone agrees are doing excellent work, and to keep those who are doing poorly.It is obscene that the rules of this game are rigged to protect adults, rather than children. And it is heartbreaking that the damage lands squarely on the urban districts, where real reform is needed most.
[A bill that] Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D) has been working for more than two years ... is now nearing the finish line ... could dramatically improve public schools.
It gives school districts the power to fire teachers who perform poorly for two consecutive years. It bases that judgment on evidence of student progress. And it sweeps away the bureaucratic obstacles that can make firing a single bad teachers an ordeal costing $200,000 and taking years of effort.
I left the following comments on June 11, 2012 at 9:47AM under my S/L screen name zemack
There is no question that tenure must go. But the cure may be worse than the disease.
The dark side of this new plan is the evaluation process. Teachers will be at the mercy of an arbitrary process—one that includes the highly dubious student tests—that essentially cuts out the most important evaluator—the persons who know their children best—the parents. Instead, central planners will have total power to decide who gets fired, a process that has always been rife with cronyism.
The only objective and fair evaluation process—one that protects the individual rights of all—is the market. But for a market to work, all of its participants—teachers, administrators, and most importantly the parents--must be free to act upon their own judgment. This means instituting free market reforms like a robust universal, tax credit based parental choice program. (Christie is on record supporting the basic concept, but the ultimate goal should be to establish a fully free market.)
With free market education, parents are free to move their children when they become unhappy with the teacher or school. At the same time, no teacher or school is ever placed at the mercy of any single parental decision. Any party is of course free to voluntarily call upon third-party education experts to assist in evaluations, but the ultimate final decision would rest with the customers—the parents. Only a free market provides protection for all parties against arbitriness. As long as teachers educate in a way that satisfies enough parents, they’ll have jobs and school administrators will have every incentive to keep them and pay them well enough to hold them. All of the incentives would be on the side of weeding out bad teachers (and schools) and rewarding the good ones.
Only a free market can establish fair and proper pay and competency standards.
A fellow free marketeer replied: