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“The Hidden Cost of Tenure”

Monday, Dec 5, 2005

Here is the link to that series of Small Newspaper stories I wrote about this morning entitled “The Hidden Cost of Tenure.”

Reporter Scott Reeder spent six months working on this series, and it kicks off today with three stories.

Tenure frustrates drive for teacher accountability is the top story.

If you talk to Cicero Elementary School Superintendent Clyde Senters, it won’t be long before the word “accountability” comes to his lips. Recently a tenured staff member was fired, who had been routinely skipping work during the past seven years. “Her last year as an employee, she skipped more days than she worked. Can you believe there was still a question of whether she should be fired?” he said,

Then there’s, School boards lose power to fire poor teachers :

Procedure trumps everything when a school attempts to dismiss an incompetent teacher. The slightest error on any of the many forms to be followed can result in a problem teacher remaining in the classroom.

And, finally, Firing Mr. Roth: $400,000 and counting

Firing Cecil Roth has cost Geneseo schools more than $400,000, and counting. The case illustrates why administrators fear dismissing tenured teachers.

They also have this chart:

- Posted by Rich Miller        

28 Comments
  1. - shelbyville - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 10:29 am:

    Having spent many years in the classroom, as both a student and teacher, I can attest to the incompetency that exists among teachers. I was once hired in New Berlin as an aide to a teacher that could no longer control her classroom. She was on antidepressants and the classroom was a mess (dirty). I should have left that job on day one.


  2. - HoosierDaddy - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 10:59 am:

    Nice site, Rich. I have been married for ten years to a very competent, caring teacher who got totally frustrated with the public education system and quit. I agree wholeheartedly with your post. I have always found it odd that teachers demand to be treated (and paid) like professionals, but insist on having unions and hiring/firing rules like blue collar workers. Which is it? If you are a professional, you ought to rise or fall on your own merits, like doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.


  3. - Pat Collins - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 11:01 am:

    doesn’t cost any more money to fix this one……

    But, to be fair to teachers, there are many other mandates that could be removed, and would make teaching easier also. Removing these is also cost fre….


  4. - Cassandra - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 11:32 am:

    This is why on numerous occasions I have criticized the high local (suburban Cook) teacher salaries. I suspected from what I have heard informally that local school authorities do not attempt to distinguish between good and bad teachers salarywise. I would be happy to pay six figure salaries to excellent teachers whose students perform well and get into good high schools or colleges. But I know well that most of my money is going to mediocre or poor teachers protected by the system. This is why I do not support support higher property taxes. A very significant percentage of those school-directed taxes go to support mediocre or poor teachers and excessive administration. It’s not good value.

    Look at the truly affluent….those who have real choices send their kids to private school, where they have control over the quality of their children’s teachers.

    And it’s the middle and lower income classes who pay the property taxes in a vain attempt to improve the quality of schools who are suffering.


  5. - Jeffrey Isbell - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 11:33 am:

    Jim Oberweis has been attempting to tackle this issue since he announced. Jim suggest Merit pay for teachers instead of the tenure.

    Teachers must be accountable. Instead of paying teachers for how long they’ve been teaching, let’s pay them for how well they teach. Teaching should be about quality and not quanity.

    We want students to be the best and brightest, however, this cannot be so if our teachers aren’t the best and brightest.

    Jim claims to be a visionary, always a head of his times. This is just another example. He came out with this stance against Tenure and Pro-Merit pay and people looked at him like he was crazy. Jim wasn’t crazy… he was thinking outside of the box.

    Great article! I’m voting Jim for Governor!


  6. - Anon - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 12:32 pm:

    I am shocked that Mr. Miller would post this story.

    No Democrat, and no liberal, worth his or her salt would EVER seriously propose the elimination of tenure in the public schools.

    And let’s not forget that the issue cannot even be discussed by teachers’ unions.

    The foregoing alone is a case for eliminating tenure.


  7. - reddbyrd - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 12:46 pm:

    Gotta wonder how many school districts tried to get rid of “bad” teachers. Perhaps that will be revealed in Parts II and beyond. The best hunch is that there so many bad teachers out there then the tenure law would have changed long ago.
    Looks like the Small Newspaper did a lot of work. Too bad Trib and SunTimes do not try this stuff too.


  8. - Yoda - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 12:53 pm:

    I don’t care what kind of job you have, when incompetent people are not fired it drags down morale and productivity throughout the workplace. One of the worst employees I have ever known was a fellow engineer. His co-workers would routinely joke about his incompetence, and at one point I was so fed up I threatened to quit if he was not fired. Yet there was a huge resistance on the part of management to take action, partly because his out-to-lunch supervisor gave him consistently good performance reviews. He was finally let go during one of our slow periods with the excuse that we didn’t have enough work. If it was this difficult to get rid of someone in my workplace where there is NOT tenure, I can’t imagine how hard it would be where you are fighting that as well!

    Can anyone offer a defense of tenure? I really can’t think of any positives, yet it must have been put in place for a reason …


  9. - anon - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 1:20 pm:

    There are a lot of very good reasons for tenure at the college level. Professors are folks who are doing ground-breaking new research, expanding the dialogue of the world. In short, they’re in far greater danger of having otherwise important work be shuttered for political reasons. That’s a good reason for tenure. Also, there’s an insanely competitive and strict filtering process before one gets tenure.

    In K-12, it’s a lot harder to defend. While I’m sure tenure has protected a handful of excellent teachers whos superiors tried to fire for illegitimate reasons, it’s far more common for it to be an incompetency-protection plan.


  10. - anon - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 1:45 pm:

    I think there is a key phrase in the post from Yoda…”out-to-lunch supervisor.” School administrators hire, evaluate and grant tenure…not the teacher’s union. But teachers and their union are slammed for making sure school districts follow due process procedures in a dismissal of a tenured teacher. Ask any teacher about the “evaluation” he or she received from an administrator..it’s more often a breeze-through classroom visit instead of a thoughtful review of a teacher’s classroom management and professional practice. Maybe the answer would be to have teachers MORE involved in the process, rather than at the end when a teacher is faced with dismissal because of a slipshod review by an “out-to-lunch supervisor.”


  11. - Zatoichi - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 2:07 pm:

    I have had some great teachers who still influence me after many years. Also had some total idiot college professors who were simply doing time because they got tenure and could coast to retirement. They were a complete waste of money and time. It is hard to get rid of people who do a poor job. Tenure does not help.


  12. - I & M - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 2:12 pm:

    I doubt if anyone enters the teaching profession wanting to be an ineffective or lazy teacher. Inadequate support at the start of a teacher’s career can lead to the teacher acquiring bad habits. The teacher is almost surely aware of his or her failings–the eyes of bored or disappointed kids speak loudly–but it’s extremely difficult to find time to improve while meeting all of one’s job responsibilities: grade papers, plan classes, keep a study hall quiet, monitor assemblies, call parents, and moderate a club or coach a sport (the last task often not voluntary for beginning teachers). It’s also traditionally taboo in schools to admit one is struggling and ask for help. Thank goodness this environment of solo practitioners is changing, but the forces that keep an ineffective teacher from improving are still strong.


  13. - Anon - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 2:34 pm:

    As a recently retired teacher/union leader, I know there are teachers that need help to find the door. However, for all the carping by school boards and administrators, they are the problem, too.

    First of all, who hires the teachers in the first place? Administrators and the school boards vote to approve. I have wondered sometimes why some teachers were hired in the first place. They were weak from day one and did not improve.

    Secondly, who is supposed to be supervising/evaluating? Administrators, who are supposed to report to the boards of education.

    Many times, the administrators are lax in doing their jobs. Too often, the teacher is not getting a proper evaluation nor is the evaluation timeline followed.

    Tenured teachers can be fired. The district needs to show just cause. All of the examples could have been handled differently with the teacher released had procedures been followed and the documentation been thorough.

    I have assisted two tenured teachers to resign and seek other employment. I told their UniServ Director that they were not doing the job and needed assistance. Their rights were not violated; the procedures were followed and they were allowed to resign with a small stipend so they could seek employment in other fields.

    One went into business and has a successful career with a major insurance company and works well with adults. The other eventually moved out of the area and I have no idea what they are doing now.

    Another issue with administrators is that often a teacher is not hired for their teaching skills but instead because they can coach or direct the school play or some other extra curricular activity. The tail wags the dog very often.

    And when these people burn out on coaching or directing or whatever, all of a sudden there is an administrator wanting to get rid of them because they are a so-so teacher (have been their whole career). The real issue is not the teaching but having the opportunity to hire another teacher who is willing to coach.

    Tenure for teachers in K-12? Let me tell you that as an activist member of the IEA back in the ’70’s and ’80’s, I am glad that I had tenure so that when I had to butt heads with administrators and school boards, I knew that they would have to show just cause and could not fire me because of my union activities.

    Don’t go hiding behind the tenure law and cry that bad teachers cannot be fired. It can be done with a little effort by the district if their reasons are properly handled.


  14. - Anon - Monday, Dec 5, 05 @ 6:02 pm:

    My mother has been an full time elementary school teacher for almost six years and full time sub for about ten years before that. Hearing her stories about the classroom caused me not become a teacher. I think that a study on teacher tenure and what needs to be changed is necessary, but quit blaming the teacher for everything that goes wrong. First, parents need to take some responsibility for their kids’ behavior and need to take interest in the child’s education at home. Second, administrators need to be held more accountable. When the average principal salary in Illinois is over $75,000 they should be paid based on merit not because they are principals. I have been in schools where the secretaries really run the school not the principals. This to me should not be happening. The teachers are not the party that should be blamed, instead start asking questions and demanding answers from administrators and reponsibility from parents.


  15. - Retired Teacher - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 12:04 am:

    Let me add somethings to what Anon 2:34 pm wrote: Another reason that an incompetent, or more often, mediocre teacher isn’t fired is that that teacher would be difficult to replace. It is not easy finding science, math, and foreign language teachers. So administrators are left with the option of keeping the poor teacher, or replacing that teacher with another who may not be certified in the area needed. That teacher may be quite competent teaching his or her area of expertise, but less than competent in the area forced to teach.
    I think it also needs to be said that a teacher today has so much more to deal with than teachers did 30 years ago. Teaching has become increasingly more difficult as public schools have been given more responsibility. Also, the talent pool from which teachers are now drawn is considerably weaker than before 30 years ago. Most elementary teachers back then were women who had few other career options, therefore teaching got many of the best and brightest career minded women..
    There are still outstanding teachers and excellent public schools just as there are poor teachers and poor public schools; but the vast majority are average, just as in the private sector.


  16. - b-matt - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 12:28 am:

    A few responses from a caring, competent teacher in central Illinois…

    QUOTING:* HoosierDaddy
    “I have always found it odd that teachers demand to be treated (and paid) like professionals, but insist on having unions and hiring/firing rules like blue collar workers. Which is it? If you are a professional, you ought to rise or fall on your own merits, like doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.”

    Really, HoosierDaddy? So are you suggesting that a union or bluecollar worker should be treated differently than a professional? When you say teachers demand to be treated like a professional I think you mean that teachers desire to be treated with the respect they deserve.

    So, all doctors, lawyers and engineers rise and fall on their own merits? Really? And just out of curiosity, do you think all those wonderful doctors, lawyers and engineers got to where they are because of those horrible, demanding, incompetent and unaccountable teachers they had?
    ————————–
    QUOTING* Cassandra
    “This is why on numerous occasions I have criticized the high local (suburban Cook) teacher salaries.”

    We’re not all paid like suburban teachers, believe me. But I don’t fall teachers for being paid a salary they can live on in the communities they teach in.

    “I suspected from what I have heard informally that local school authorities do not attempt to distinguish between good and bad teachers salarywise. I would be happy to pay six figure salaries to excellent teachers whose students perform well and get into good high schools or colleges.” really?
    “But I know well that most of my money is going to mediocre or poor teachers protected by the system.” so, MOST teachers are mediocre or poor?
    “This is why I do not support support higher property taxes. A very significant percentage of those school-directed taxes go to support mediocre or poor teachers and excessive administration. It’s not good value.

    Look at the truly affluent….those who have real choices send their kids to private school, where they have control over the quality of their children’s teachers.”Not really, they don’t. Most private school teachers are the same people who teach in the public schools. They just get paid less.

    “And it’s the middle and lower income classes who pay the property taxes in a vain attempt to improve the quality of schools who are suffering.”
    I agree here somewhat. It really is a school-funding issue. Without some funding reform, we may never see much change. I’m not asking for more money, necessarily. Just more equity.
    —————————
    QUOTING* Jeffrey Isbell
    “Jim Oberweis has been attempting to tackle this issue since he announced. Jim suggest Merit pay for teachers instead of the tenure.”
    I’ve yet to hear a merit pay system that makes sense. Remember, we’re talking about human beings being taught here, not widgets being produced. And let’s not forget that the public schools have a legal obligation to provide an education to EVERY child. So, how do you suggest merit pay working?

    “Teachers must be accountable. Instead of paying teachers for how long they’ve been teaching, let’s pay them for how well they teach. Teaching should be about quality and not quanity.”
    Probably mostly true as far as it being about quality and not quantity, but again there are a lot of details here that most merit-pay backers shy away from even addressing. And, remind me, is it the blue-collar workers are the elite professionals who are paid solely on merit and not by loyalty or experience?

    “We want students to be the best and brightest, however, this cannot be so if our teachers aren’t the best and brightest.”
    Then you better be willing to pay for the best and brightest, and to attract the best and the brightest.
    “Jim claims to be a visionary, always a head of his times. This is just another example. He came out with this stance against Tenure and Pro-Merit pay and people looked at him like he was crazy. Jim wasn’t crazy… he was thinking outside of the box.”
    So merit pay and getting rid of tenure are outside of the box? Those ideas make him a visionary? You know what would make a politician an outside the box visionary? If they would stand up and say they need to change the funding system for schools to provide equitable funding that is good for ALL children in ALL schools. And if they would pay for the mandates they create. Now that would be outside of the box.

    “Great article! I’m voting Jim for Governor!”
    Sorry to hear that.
    ————————
    QUOTING* * reddbyrd
    “Gotta wonder how many school districts tried to get rid of “bad” teachers. Perhaps that will be revealed in Parts II and beyond. The best hunch is that there so many bad teachers out there then the tenure law would have changed long ago.
    Looks like the Small Newspaper did a lot of work. Too bad Trib and SunTimes do not try this stuff too.”
    Teachers and teacher unions favor accountability and excellence in the classroom. Why wouldn’t we? It’s good for our profession. When we defend the rights of a teacher it’s not to defend poor teaching but to ensure they get the rights of due process. If administrators were accurate throughout the evaluation process, poor teachers would be dismissed BEFORE tenure. And those who were unsatisfactory after tenure would work through a remediation plan before being released. It’s not a “DON”T FIRE ANYONE” fight, it’s a fight for fairness and due process.
    ———————–
    QUOTING* Yoda
    “I don’t care what kind of job you have, when incompetent people are not fired it drags down morale and productivity throughout the workplace. One of the worst employees I have ever known was a fellow engineer. His co-workers would routinely joke about his incompetence, and at one point I was so fed up I threatened to quit if he was not fired. Yet there was a huge resistance on the part of management to take action, partly because his out-to-lunch supervisor gave him consistently good performance reviews. He was finally let go during one of our slow periods with the excuse that we didn’t have enough work. If it was this difficult to get rid of someone in my workplace where there is NOT tenure, I can’t imagine how hard it would be where you are fighting that as well!

    Can anyone offer a defense of tenure? I really can’t think of any positives, yet it must have been put in place for a reason … ”
    Keep in mind a defense of tenure is NOT a defense of poor teaching … see my comments about about evaluations and remediation. There are several issues involved with tenure. While those issues differ in their effect and impact based on location and situation … some might include providing a teacher with some protection after prooving their effectiveness during a probationary period. It provides them from being released without cause, not from being released at all. It also provides some security for a teacher in regards to the community they live and work in. Being released without sufficient cause might not only mean a loss of job but might force a teacher to move in order to teach elsewhere. Many, though I recognize not all, professionals have more than one option in the community they live in as far as places of employment. Many school districts, however, are one per town, or even per county.

    Better yet, can anyone give a really good case against tenure? Sure, there are small numbers of incompetent teachers who were/are apparently evaluated poorly by possibly incompetent administrators. But, you must recognize that a majority of education professionals are effective in their jobs.
    ————-
    QUOTING* anon
    “In K-12, it’s a lot harder to defend. While I’m sure tenure has protected a handful of excellent teachers whos superiors tried to fire for illegitimate reasons, it’s far more common for it to be an incompetency-protection plan.”
    Really, can you substantiate that claim?
    ———————
    QUOTING* anon
    “I think there is a key phrase in the post from Yoda…”out-to-lunch supervisor.” School administrators hire, evaluate and grant tenure…not the teacher’s union. But teachers and their union are slammed for making sure school districts follow due process procedures in a dismissal of a tenured teacher. Ask any teacher about the “evaluation” he or she received from an administrator..it’s more often a breeze-through classroom visit instead of a thoughtful review of a teacher’s classroom management and professional practice. Maybe the answer would be to have teachers MORE involved in the process, rather than at the end when a teacher is faced with dismissal because of a slipshod review by an “out-to-lunch supervisor.” ”
    excellent statement, and very true.
    ——————-
    QUOTING* I & M
    “but the forces that keep an ineffective teacher from improving are still strong.”
    true, very true.
    ————————
    QUOTING* Anon
    “Don’t go hiding behind the tenure law and cry that bad teachers cannot be fired. It can be done with a little effort by the district if their reasons are properly handled. ”
    Amen!
    ——————–
    QUOTING* Anon
    “My mother has been an full time elementary school teacher for almost six years and full time sub for about ten years before that. Hearing her stories about the classroom caused me not become a teacher. I think that a study on teacher tenure and what needs to be changed is necessary, but quit blaming the teacher for everything that goes wrong. First, parents need to take some responsibility for their kids’ behavior and need to take interest in the child’s education at home. Second, administrators need to be held more accountable. When the average principal salary in Illinois is over $75,000 they should be paid based on merit not because they are principals. I have been in schools where the secretaries really run the school not the principals. This to me should not be happening. The teachers are not the party that should be blamed, instead start asking questions and demanding answers from administrators and reponsibility from parents. ”
    interesting thoughts. We’re quick to say it takes a village to raise a child, but even quicker to point the finger of blame towards education professionals. Changes are definitely needed in education … they always are. But I do believe that respect and reasonable compensation are deserved by those education professionals and I think it’s high time they start getting what they deserve …


  17. - respectful - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 12:30 am:

    Does anyone think the General Assembly would repeal or weaken tenure? I don’t.


  18. - b-matt - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 12:43 am:

    no, i don’t think they will touch tenure … and while i’d favor some tenure reform, i think school funding should be the issue they touch … but this is an election year and we all know what that means.


  19. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 9:06 am:

    Tenure was the the teacher’s reward for accepting the “accountability” legislation. It does not work.

    In universities, tenure is awarded for exceptional service in teaching and research. It was designed so that inquiry into complicated and, separately, unpopular matters would be protected.

    Tenure in primary and secondary schools have no such purpose. It is the permanent vesting for having been present. It is the equivalent of the closed shop. There is no evaluation of the qualities and subject matter mastery. And, of course, there is no independent research and subsequent publication in appropriate professional journals.

    Tenure based on time served is a joke. It debases the language, but worse, debases the quality of education being provided.


  20. - b-matt - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 9:21 am:

    Ii didn’t know teachers got to accept any “accountability” legislation. Are our legislators currently in the habit of getting approval from those affected before passing such laws? If so, I want in on that deal.

    And while I would agree that tenure has a different impact and purpose at the higher ed. level, i do think it serves a purpose at all levels.

    What do you mean there is no evaluation of the qualities and subject matter mastery? Do you realize how much continuing education and professional development teachers have to go through to remain certified?

    The idea that tenure is based on time-served is due to the fact that administrators are often poor evaluators and to a misinformed or mislead public.

    K-12 tenure is based on a teacher showing their ability to do the job effectively through a probationary period - currently 4 years. They are evaluated at least twice a year for those four years, and each evaluation should be fairly intensive if done correctly. If a teacher show incompetency during that time, then the administrator has an obligation to work with them to help them improve, and if they don’t, then pre-tenured is the time to let someone go.

    How many other jobs have 4-year probationary periods?


  21. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 9:40 am:

    Merit Pay? How are you going to decide the relative merits of teachers? The same clueless principals and boards you have doing it now? How do you determine a good teacher from a bad teacher? Poor kids arrive at school already behind and don’t tend to learn as fast once they are there. Wealthier students with educated parents do quite well but a great deal of the heavy lifting of their education is done at home which could easily mask the effect of an ineffective teacher.


  22. - Chris - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 12:15 pm:

    “How many other jobs have 4-year probationary periods?”

    Most private sector jobs are at-will, and have an indefinite probationary period.

    “School funding reform”: eduspeak for “tax increase”.


  23. - scoobydoo - Tuesday, Dec 6, 05 @ 6:10 pm:

    Private sector jobs may be at will, but you are also able to fill the position fairly quickly if you must fire someone (and as a person who works in a major private sector corporation, believe me it takes a LOT to get fired around here). It is much more difficult to replace a teacher in the middle of the year.

    As a former teacher myself, let me say that my evaluation process was a joke. The union had nothing to do with it, and rarely impacted my life at all. It was the administration that was responsible for the evaluations, and they were not competent evaluators, to say the least.

    Finally, tenure serves two purposes in schools. First, the teachers with the most experience often receive the most pay. It is tempting for school boards and administrators who are strapped for cash to want to fire these teachers and hire new grads, whose pay may be 1/3rd the cost of the experienced teacher. Tenure forces the school board to hold onto their most experienced and (typically) their best teachers.

    Secondly, tenure allows teachers to not worry about kissing administration ass in order to stay in the game. Teachers are able to speak their minds, concentrate on teaching, and work their second jobs to afford the mortgage. The last thing they need is to have to negotiate pay, etc. with the school board every year.

    Tenure is extremely valuable in the public school setting, and some of the posters on this board would do well to research this issue more thoroughly before making rude remarks about teachers.

    Oh, and private schools? Those are the teachers who weren’t hired in the public sector.


  24. - Parent - Thursday, Dec 8, 05 @ 11:03 am:

    It does sound like the evaluation process needs to be fixed. I hope school boards in Illinois are listening. I believe this falls under school policy and anyone involved with their school knows that school board members are there to set policy.

    I do not understand why it is more important for K-12 teachers to have tenure. I believe we would all like this luxury.


  25. - b-matt - Thursday, Dec 8, 05 @ 11:29 am:

    scoobydoo makes some interesting remarks … i appreicate the insight.

    absolutely one of the things that tenure provides is some security … for teachers, districts and parents. even though teaching is such an easy job that anyone could do it and the pay is outrageously high, and you are guaranteed a job forever because there is no accountability (tongue in cheek) … believe it or not, people are not banging on the doors of school districts to get a job. Tenure gives teachers some security and encourages them to stay in a district. Even with this “luxury” about 20% of teachers leave within the first few years … some because they couldn’t cut it, and some because they couldn’t afford to live in the areas they teach in.

    I would invite anyone to walk a mile in my shoes before passing judgment on what it takes to be an effective teacher.

    I already walk a mile in yours … in fact I own my own private sector business … so I can live next door to my students.

    So, yes, school funding reform could mean a tax increase, or at least some tax reform. What are our children worth?


  26. - Chris - Thursday, Dec 8, 05 @ 12:09 pm:

    Our children are worth not sending their parents to the poor house, giving parents choices in their childrens’ education, and teaching kids what they need to know to succeed in college and the work force.

    For 30 years, gobs of money have been plowed into government schools, and kids leaving 12th grade just get dumber and dumber — measured by the amount of remedial classes HS graduates need to survive in college, and test scores of US students compared to other nations.

    One slide in Speaker Madigan’s 2005 Budget Summit presentation says it all. Slide 59 of http://www.workwelfareandfamilies.org/PDF/IllinoisHouseBudgetPresentation.pdf indicates from 1987-2003:
    Student enrollment +13.1%
    State employment +20.4% (we’ve been hiring teachers and administrators faster than we’ve been gaining students)
    Inflation +57%
    School funding +157.8%

    What do we have to show for it? Schools are still broke, kids still aren’t learning.

    More money is never enough.


  27. - Parent - Thursday, Dec 8, 05 @ 2:38 pm:

    b-matt

    I understand what tenure is. I fail to see why you need it if you are a good teacher and how it protects me as a parent.

    In our district, for every one poisition that is advertised at leat 30 or more applications are received.

    If you don’t like the word “luxury” call it a “perk”.

    Thanks Chris for some interesting numbers from Speaker Madigan.


  28. - b-matt - Thursday, Dec 8, 05 @ 2:49 pm:

    sure, i think you could call it a “perk” or benefit. but that’s a bit different than a luxury.

    not all districts have the “luxury” of having 30 applicants for each job … and those that do probably have decent pay and benefits or have decent funding levels. i don’t think you’d find the same everywhere. in fact, i know you wouldn’t.

    i’m not sure everyone here understands what tenure is … it’s not a guarantee. it only guarantees two things: an evaluation by their administrator every two years and due process if questions about the quality of their teaching are raised.

    Under Illinois law, during the first four years in a district, every teacher must be evaluated annually and can be dismissed without a hearing at the end of each year. After that period, each teacher must be evaluated at least every two years, and those whose performance is found to be “unsatisfactory” are given 90 days to achieve “satisfactory” status. A teacher failing to reach the goal must be fired.

    i guess that doesn’t sound like a luxury to me, and not really even a lot like a perk. now, the way tenure is being carried out might not look the way it is intended to. no argument there. but if the way something is being carried out is different than its intent, that doesn’t necessarily mean the solution is to get rid of it altogether.

    and who “carries out” tenure? boards and administrators. unions only protect and defend and advocate for the rights of their members, based on current laws and policies.

    and no one said anyone NEEDED tenure. just like no one NEEDS employee-provided health insurance, salary increases, etc. But ehy all serve to compensate and provide for employees, as well as attract new ones.


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* Lawmaker Exodus..
* Government's role at the heart of Illinois race.....
* Local 150, Republican activist gang up against .....


* Illinois DNR to landowners: Do homework before selling trees
* Police board overrules superintendent, will review 2012 case
* 2 men serving life sentences for rape, murder released
* Ex-Chicago officer who shot at teens gets 5-year sentence
* Lawsuit against Hastert alleging sexual assault dismissed
* Final report analyzes options for controversial oil pipeline
* Lawsuit against Hastert alleging sexual assault dismissed
* Illinois to stay in much-criticized voter database for now
* Chicago plans to sue US Steel over Indiana plant's spills
* Coal City man pleads not guilty in woman's shooting death

* House task force to review sexual harassment
* Electric cars, better fuel efficiency spell doom for Illinois gas tax
* Springfield wants out of legislation limiting payments for 5G antennas
* Fact check: Are Gov. Rauner's grandparents immigrants?
* Londrigan accused of attacking Davis for 'opposite' of remarks
* Gov. Rauner signs sex harassment legislation
* Under the Dome Podcast: Governor's race, sexual harassment, Rodney Davis
* Macoupin Co. highway renamed in honor of soldier who died in Vietnam
* Macoupin Co. highway renamed in honor of solder who died in Vietnam
* Schoenburg: Rep. Davis leads new caucus, pleased with White House access

* Illinois to stay in controversial voter database for now
* Wirtz family in deal to form $12 billion liquor distributor
* Todd Stroger wants his old job back
* UIC may absorb John Marshall Law School


* Judge permanently blocks Trump sanctuary cities order
* The Fantasy Fool: Big producers can become mortal fast
* Person fatally shot in Palos Heights
* US ending temporary permits for almost 60,000 Haitians
* 28-year-old man shot in Humboldt Park
* Family sues Six Flags over ‘savage’ attack during Fright Fest
* Crash involving hazardous materials in McKinley Park hospitalizes 4
* Judge orders memorabilia huckster held in jail
* Zach LaVine gets the thumbs up and has first contact practice in LA
* Round Lake Park police investigate death of seven-week old baby girl


* Report: Rep. John Conyers settled complaint over sexual conduct
* Federal judge permanently blocks Trump's executive order to cut funding to sanctuary cities
* Air Force pilot dead, another injured after plane crash in Texas
* Jana Novotna, remembered for tears of sadness and then joy at Wimbledon, dies at 49
* Trump says U.S. will declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror
* Police: 1 man killed in Palos Heights shooting
* 1 killed, dozens injured in explosions, fire at upstate New York cosmetics factory
* Police investigating death of 7-week-old girl in Round Lake Park
* A Border Patrol agent is dead in Texas, but the circumstances remain murky
* 1 dead 4 wounded following shootings


» How Chicago’s New Budget Could Affect You In 2018 — And Beyond
» How A Chicago Cop Sentenced To Prison Could Affect The Jason Van Dyke Trial
» Illinois Lawmaker's Plan To Combat Opioid Abuse With Cannabis
» Black Lives Matter Takes On Hunger With New Food Box
» State Week: Are Voters Thinking About 2018?
» Legislative Checklist: Veto Session
» How 3 Women Want To Make Illinois’ Political Future Female
» Illinois Supreme Court Weighing Seizure Of Woman’s Harley
» Illinois Supreme Court Weighing Seizure Of Woman's Harley
» Statehouse Ethical Issues Might Need Outside Oversight, Legislators Say


* Marc A. Thiessen: Trump should make sure Roy Moore drops out
* House task force to review sexual harassment
* Rex Huppke: Moment of reckoning for swinish behavior is here
* George Will: In Illinois, a looming battle over the bankrupting 'blue model'
* Bernard Schoenburg: Ives says Rauner joined 'ruling class' he was to fight
* Statehouse Insider: Republican primary for governor underway
* Doubek: For harassment and beyond, Springfield needs stronger accountability
* Jim Dixon: It is time for a fair tax for Illinois
* Our View: It’s time for decision on YWCA block
* Electric cars, better fuel efficiency spell doom for Illinois gas tax


* Carbondale Police car involved in wreck
* Honeywell announces plans to idle Metropolis plant, reduce workforce by 170 positions
* UPDATE: St. Joseph man charged with DUI in I-74 wreck
* Judge denies temporary restraining order to halt Cambria TIF district
* Five at 5: Illinois announces Butkus statue, Missouri games and 4 other stories you should see
* Charles Manson, whose cult slayings horrified world, dies
* At the holidays, HUD's confusing letter telling Cairo residents to move 'immediately' met with frustration
* Boil order issued in Murphysboro
* Union County discussions continue on early retirement incentive plan
* Smith: 'Can't complain about the effort'


* Hoffman Estates starts with victory over Hersey
* Ryan's 2 TD passes enough as Falcons hold off Seahawks 34-31
* Lane Tech leaps past Leyden in fourth quarter
* Report: Rep. Conyers settled complaint over sexual conduct
* McDonald's plans to tear down Des Plaines replica restaurant

* 3 suburban GOP reps provide crucial votes ...
* Panel encourages women to consider careers...
* Congressman: Welcome change at top of cons...
* Geneva Chamber honors Gaines for 40 years ...
* DOJ to ban US lawmakers should Duterte ord...
* US lawmakers to Duterte: 'Sovereignty does...
* Local Congressmen React to the Passage of ...
* Hultgren whishes McHenry County College a ...
* Hultgren and Ruppersberger: Protect infras...
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* Todd Stroger is back....
* Japanese American Service Committee Holds Holiday Delight Festival
* New Laurels To Rest On
* Kyle Kinane at Thalia Hall and more of the best things to do in Chicago this week
* Opioids In The Iditarod
* Lessons from a century of communism
* Di Leo: One Seat in a Hundred - the Alabama Special Election
* Trump's Secret Weapon Against A Free Press
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock
* Illinois House candidate calls for reforms: 'There's no more money; people are leaving'


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* iPhone X 2018 may go dual-SIM, HomePod Delays & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Google working on Swift, support branch found with mysterious Fuchsia OS
* Verizon Wear24 smartwatch resurrected on eBay for just $129.99
* Alcatel Idol 5S down to $200, A30 to $60 from Thanksgiving
* Android Messages updated with Google Wallet cash transfers
* Nokia 2 sales on from today at Amazon and they’re hot
* U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Merger Between AT&T and Time Warner

* White Sox add five to 40-man roster, remove two
* Sox add top prospect Jimenez to 40-man
* Thome joins Hall hopefuls in 1st time on ballot
* Podcast: The calm before the storm
* New Prolight 59Fifty Spring Training caps are in
* White Sox Arizona Fall League recap
* Hello spring: Schedules are out


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