David, a progressive guy, objects to tenure for teachers:
I dunno man, as much as I hate to death scumbag union busters on nearly all fronts, I personally have some pretty deep union-busting tendencies when it comes to teachers’ unions.
I tend to be of the higher pay, higher benefits, but less job security (or rather, merit-tied job security) viewpoint as far as teachers are concerned, sort of like the most recent union-negotiated contract in DC, where the teacher’s were given 20% base salary raises plus merit-based bonuses totaling up to 100% or so of their base salary in exchange for the abolition of tenure and seniority-based job security.
I am neutral on tenure. It is true that theoretically it gives you freedom to screw off as a teacher and get away with it. I hardly saw any cases myself, though I think I did see one case I described earlier.
My feeling is that if you got tenure and were not cutting it, the administrators would make your life incredibly miserable. I mean incredibly miserable! Maybe they could not fire you, but they could make you want to quit. Or maybe want to die.
But I never had a tenure contract, so I don’t know. Admins and White parents were constantly breathing down my neck, and it was just pressure cooker all the time to keep doing a great job and not screw up. Of course I could have been canned for any reason. But it’s not like they let us get away with murder. Hardly!
You must understand that since the Reagan Revolution Against Public Schools, schools are under incredible pressure to perform. There’s no space left for teachers who are screwing off or not cutting it, and AFAICT, they hardly exist anyway.
The whole reason tenure was put in was so they could not fire you for political reasons, which they used to do all the time in the past. I never had tenure, and rightwing White kids and some idiot nationalist Blacks were always trying to get me in trouble over something I said.
You simply cannot have any progressive opinions as a teacher in White schools. But there are all these older White male teachers who are very rightwing and indoctrinate their kids constantly. Our teachers indoctrinated us with rightwing crap in my all-White high school.
You can say anything rightwing you want, and no one will complain, but anything progressive and the little shits will go running home to their rightwing parents and try to get you in trouble. First thing the parents will be on the phone to the principal complaining about the “Commie teacher” or whatever.
Stuff I said was not even controversial. I did say that you should be able to burn an American flag, though I said I would never burn one myself. The little rightwing White scums ran to the principal, lied and told him I said, “People should burn the American flag.” The principal came running to my room between classes and nearly tried to fire me on the spot until I told him what I actually said.
One time I said that Blacks have it tough in our society, I feel sorry for them and it must be hard to be Black in America. Some Abagond type Black radical scum brat ran to the Black Vice Principal and tried to bust me. The Veep called me in and I said that was a racist comment, that I was pitying Blacks and that was an insult.
With a lot of these Blacks, there is simply no way to get along with them!