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Reader Opinion: Eliminate tenure, retain quality

Teacher retention doesn't demonstrate a need for tenure. That without it teachers could be fired for arbitrary reasons is a fallacy; teachers would still have their union protection from unlawful termination.

Teacher retention doesn't demonstrate a need for tenure. That without it teachers could be fired for arbitrary reasons is a fallacy; teachers would still have their union protection from unlawful termination.

What our schools need are qualified, motivated, dedicated teachers and staff that will provide the best education to the students in their classrooms. These are the teachers we need to retain. Ineffective and problematic teachers that cannot be terminated aren't good for school staff or the students in the classrooms.

A Star Tribune analysis of teachers evaluation data found Minneapolis schools, with the largest number of low-income students, had the highest concentration of poor performing teachers. What does this tell us about tenure?

Tenure can produce a secure feeling in some teachers; they may no longer feel the need to work hard at their job. The majority of citizens in the workplace don't have this luxury and must perform their jobs to expected levels or be fired. Why should teachers be any different?

If a teacher "goes bad," is neglectful in their job, treats students poorly or abuses them, they should be terminated and not have tenure to hide behind.

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Removal of tenure will allow school administration to separate the wheat from the chaff. It will require teachers to perform at expected levels throughout their careers. It will give the parents input on teachers; if enough parents complain, the bad teachers can be removed retaining the honest, hardworking teachers.

District 181 for the most part has many wonderful, hardworking teachers but there are a few bad apples in the cart. Removing those bad apples will improve the education our children should receive and improve our school district.

Full disclosure, I have two daughters and a granddaughter working in the school district, and a son-in-law who retired from the district.

Bob Olson

Former Brainerd mayor and council member

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