My Piece on Teacher Tenure in Bergen Record

Find it here:

As a proud New Jersey public school educator, I’ll be the first to say it: Teachers matter. And that’s why we need to keep teachers out of the political muck. Tenure is good for taxpayers and students, and it’s an inexpensive way to keep good teachers in the profession.

Unless we want another 125,000 patronage jobs in New Jersey, we should keep tenure and seniority for teachers.

Can you imagine a New Jersey where guys like David Wildstein get to decide who keeps their jobs in the public schools?

One more thing I’ll add here: in the coverage of the Vergara case, you’ve no doubt heard that teachers are responsible for millions/billions of dollars in future student earnings.

I’ll be the first to say that teachers are important. But, as Dr. Bruce Baker of Rutgers points out, the actual economic impact of having a “bad” teacher is actually quite small: about $5 a week. And that’s from ONE study, limited to ONE city (NYC), and the oldest participants were 28.

Don’t believe the hype.

Comments (2)

  1. princetonblue

    Congrats on getting your article published!

    I’d be cautious of suggesting that it’s ok for tenure to keep bad teachers employed because of the limited economic impact.

    No one wants to read a bad book, eat a bad meal, or live in bad housing, because it helps other people read good books, eat good meals, or have good housing.

    No parent will accept their child having a bad teacher because it allows other children to have good  teachers.  One year with a bad teacher can be emotionally damaging to a child and this must be prevented.

    I am optimistic that by the end of this long education discussion, we will find a way to balance the good aspects of tenure with the need for an easier way to dismiss poor teachers.  


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