Tenure in teaching- or I’m glad I’m not Steve Jobs.

Teaching is one of the last honorable professions left. At least that’s my opinion. Underpaid, overworked, asked to do the impossible daily- teaching is a profession of underdogs- and underdogs should have a union (just like NCAA atheletes should- but that’s another can of worms).

Steve Jobs is getting blasted for his position on tenure- and although unions consider tenure a key bargaining position, I believe it is as outdated as buggywhips and slide rules.

No one should be guaranteed a job- unless they are performing it well. Especially, if you want a quality product. I remember the teachers who were great influences on me- the ones who instilled the love of learning for me: Mr. Lynn Canfield taught band at Roxboro Jr. High School- and embodied the beauty of music in everything he did. Mr. David DiCarlo who coached football and taught comparative government at Cleveland Heights High School and challenged me more than any college professor- and made me sweat harder than any sergeant  I encountered in the Army. Mr. Steve Young who taught English at the same high school- I disliked him, but he introduced me to more great authors in one year than any other teacher- he made me put into words what I liked and disliked about them in a way that has stuck with me (you’re reading this now- hint). Dr. Michael Cleary at Wright State- could make statistics fun, memorable and even understandable- an amazing gift- not because I understand basic quality concpets now- but because I saw a master teacher practicing his craft.

None of these people were there for the money- or because they had tenure. It was because they had a passion for what they did. Paying them a scale based on seniority instead of on results is a crime. If we had a school system full of teachers like these- we’d have the results we want for the limited dollars we are willing to commit.

So, when the California Teachers Union goes after Steve Jobs- I ask this: why not bargain for technology for all students in exchange for trying it without tenure? Make Steve put his money where his mouth is- and see if we can’t really change education?

Here is a link to a story with comments about the Union and their misplaced attack:

The California Federation of Teachers has invited Apple CEO Steve Jobs to either attend an annual CFT convention next month or offer a public apology for his “insulting comments” to California’s teachers. Should Jobs fail to apologize or neglect to attend the conference, where he is encouraged to speak with the people who educate California’s children and hear from them what the situation is like, the CFT will create a new award specifically for Apple’s chief. “We’ll call it the Rotten Apple, for the individual who best personifies the need to think differently about public education and teacher unions,” California Federation of Teachers president Mary Bergan wrote in a letter to the executive. Bergan aggressively rebuted Jobs’ statement to an educational reform conference last week, where he expressed belief that the schools have become unionized “in the worst possible way” and that the unionization with lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is “off-the-charts crazy.”continue reading: MacNN | Jobs to get “Rotten Apple’ award without apology

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