Responding to the ridicule of teachers and the teaching profession by politicians and self proclaimed "experts"!
"Where is Albert Shanker now that we need him?" - Walt Sautter

Sunday, February 19, 2012

$100,000 Questions About Tenure




The constant cry from those wishing to eliminate tenure is that the cost of firing a tenured teacher is extreme (the claim is up to $100,000).
Why does it cost so much to remove a poorly performing, tenured teacher?
Because lawyers charge school districts exorbitant fees in order to carry out the process.
Instead of ending tenure for all teachers, the majority of whom are doing well, why not limit the cost of firing the poor ones?
We should look at capping the outrageous legal fees that are paid by school systems each year.
The State is certainly very good at capping all other aspects of school district spending why not cap these?
If this was done, some questions might arise. Would lawyers take tenure cases filed by school districts at reduced fees?
Last year, New Jersey admitted 3037 lawyers to the Bar. Estimated job openings were 844 leaving a surplus of 2193 . The median wage for New Jersey lawyers is $43.84 per hour. *
If the law of supply and demand works as claimed, it should be easy to hire lawyers to pursue these actions.
Another question might then be, would districts be able to obtain the “best” lawyers if legal costs were capped?
Well, if the charges brought against an individual are valid and well documented, I don’t think districts need Johnny Cochran to win the case!
Another cost saving measure might be, having the State hiring a group of salaried lawyers to be leased to school districts at nominal rates. These lawyers could then pursue tenure charge cases instead of having districts spend outlandish sums by hiring independent law firms.
If the real motivation behind ending tenure is only so that “poor” teachers can be fired without huge cost why not investigate these alternatives? (My own opinion, this is not the real motivation for the elimination of tenure.)

PS
Does anyone really think that the Governor (who is a lawyer) and the legislature (which is in majority composed of lawyers) would ever even suggest much entertain these types of actions?
I guess he thinks it's much easier and it's  more fun beating up on teachers! (and it probably is).

PSS
I see today in the Ledger, Tom Moran's column describes NJEA as "a union whose highest goal is to protect bad teachers". I guess he's referring to the union's resistance against eliminating tenure.
I'm not a big fan of NJEA but I certainly don't think that "protecting bad teachers" is their objective at all and I would doubt that "Tommy Boy" really believes that either!
And about Vince Giordano's salary, "it is a little over $300K! Yes, that's way too high for a union guy". Again, I'm not a fan of Giordano but who is Moran to decide that his salary is "way too high for a union guy"? The NJEA members should make that decision not Tom Moran.
I guess being involved with a union in any way, shape or form  means you deserve only poor salaries and poor benefits. The only people who deserve good salaries and benefits are in the "private sector"!
(By the way Tom, working for  NJEA is a private sector job!)



* http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/

1 comment:

  1. Walt....love the blogs....couldn't agree more...

    ReplyDelete

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