All Articles Tagged "teacher tenure"
(Chicago News Cooperative) — An overhaul of teacher tenure and strike rules sought by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and education reform advocates stayed on track Wednesday, following a hearing in Springfield to address lingering concerns. Clean-up language to Illinois Senate Bill 7 passed the Senate Education Committee and is headed back to both chambers for a vote before Tuesday’s adjournment deadline. Despite helping write the bill, the Chicago Teachers Union strongly objected to parts of the final legislation, calling the language regulating teacher strikes an “atomic bomb.” CTU President Karen Lewis later said the bill’s language twisted the union’s intent, and those objections prompted another round of meetings between stakeholders.
by R. Asmerom
Florida is the latest state to set its eyes on reforming the teaching industry. It recently voted to abolish teacher tenure and link pay of new teachers to student performance, further advancing the argument of market enthusiasts that a system that complements the for-profit model is best.
As much as we extol the virtues of capitalism, the United States, like all other countries, is a hybrid capitalist and socialist economy. But looking ahead, it appears that social services may take on the front of money-making businesses. The inefficiency of government run institutions has been criticized for many years but it is just now where we’re seeing a concerted effort to reform government owned institutions – public schools being the main targets. But can we guarantee that moving towards for-profit models is a win-win?
Nancy Schimmel, former school and public librarian, says that the market approach to education is shortsighted. “There was a time when people started publishing companies because they loved books. They published enough blockbuster mysteries and romances so that they could risk publishing a new author, or a fine writer with a small following, now and then,” she said. “Now publishing companies have been bought by conglomerates and every book must look to be a moneymaker. Teachers must be allowed time to nurture the people like Albert Einstein, for instance, who are late bloomers and don’t do well in school and whose test scores wouldn’t raise the class average. Students are not identical widgets to be turned out at a factory.”
The DMV, the post office, and other government-owned institutions that have service-based, rather than merit-based, protections for their employees are known for their bad and slow service. For free-market enthusiasts, these institutions evince the flaws of a socialist model. Global business consultant Kathleen Brush believes that an incentive based system is essential to promoting productivity.
“There is a reason why many protected workers are known for terrible service,” she said “Sure, you will find protected government workers that will work very hard, but this is inconsistent with incentives that are in place which have a dramatic effect on human behaviors.”
Education will continue to be a delicate matter in the country. The shift to incentive-based models for teachers just may produce higher test scores amongst students but no one knows what that will mean for the quality of education. Furthermore, recent findings show that the difference between the haves and have-nots is increasing in America, in correlation with the decrease in labor unions. Only time will tell if an increasing market-based approach will produce the results that conservatives and other reformists have promised.