Saturday, September 10, 2005

Proposition 74

We have a special election coming up here in California in November. One of the more contentious issues is Proposition 74. This would extend the probabtionary period of new teachers, and make it easier to fire experienced teachers. It is yet another case of the wrong solution to a real problem. I am the first to admit that there are bad teachers out there. Hell, my school got rid of two teachers just last year. But that is just it, we were able to get rid of them without Prop 74. The real secret about firing bad teachers is that it takes effort, and many administrators aren't interested in doing the work required. There also comes the problem that if you fire a bad teacher you have to replace them. At my school last year, we had a teaching vacancy all year that was filled with long term subs. This year we currently have another teaching position still unfilled. If we could attract more, and better, teacher applicants it would be easier to get rid of the bad teachers. Another part of the problem is apathy from the parents. To the best of my knowledge the school received only one complaint all year about the position that was filled by long term subs. That is simply unbelievable. You can bet if I had a kid in a class with a long term sub for that long, I would be down in the office every week until they filled it or moved my kid. The real problem with public education in California today, that no one is willing to voice, is the numbers of illegal immigrant children in our schools. You want to improve education in California? Then solve the immigration problem.

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