WestSideWorker Feb. 9, 2014 @ 12:03 p.m.

I am a teacher on the west side, and the more articles like this I read, the more I realize that the general public (and perhaps SUHSD administrators) seem to not be aware of one crucial FACT: the only "bad" teachers we have are those who were invited to teach in the district by the administrators themselves.

All new teachers have a two-year probation period during which administrators are supposed to observe them regularly and give them feedback on their progress toward demonstrating Teacher Performance Expectations. If a new teacher is NOT performing at an acceptable level, the administrator has TWO YEARS to decide NOT to give the teacher "permanent status" (non-teachers refer to this as tenure, which is a misnomer). The union cannot do anything if a new teacher is not hired permanently - it is the right of the district's administrators to make that decision.

What happens is that principals FAIL to perform their due diligence on new teachers, and it's not until years later that someone thinks, "Wow, that teacher isn't very good." By this time the teacher DOES have union protection and the myth of unions protecting "bad" teachers continues. The union protects teachers who the district determines are worthy of being given permanent status after two years of ostensible observation. That the very district who hires new teachers also hires administrators who FAIL to perform due diligence is whose fault? It is the job of the district and its local managers/principals to determine who is fit to teach. I myself know new teachers who were never even observed by their site principal; I wasn't when I started teaching over 20 years ago. I can't think of any other profession where the "boss" has two years to make up his or her mind about a new employee and does not take the opportunity to do so.


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