Paul Karrer: Tenure Gives Teachers Freedom to Teach

Diane Ravitch's blog

Paul Karrer was the 2009 North Monterey LULAC Teacher of the Year. He has taught in Korea , Samoa , England , Connecticut , and is currently a fifth-grade tenured teacher in Castroville Elementary School, Castroville California.

In this article, Karrer explains why tenure is necessary: it protects teachers from the latest fad or misguided mandate.

He writes that teachers are subject to “a revolving door of insipid, untried, never-ending contradictory education philosophies, a steady departure of administrators, over-filled classrooms, diminishing resources, increased poverty, non-related, high-stakes academic testing, and the constant insertion by non-educators of mandated, mantra-driven education policy.

“Veteran teachers have seen: No Child Left Behind, no science, Race to the Top, math this-and-that, reading fluency and whole-word recognition, phonics, bilingualism and language acquisition, and now, Common Core.

“What did teachers get? Substandard pay and tenure. Yet tenure is what allows veteran teachers the freedom to check the…

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