Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Virtue and vice of Tenure

There has been a lawsuit case in California. The judge decided that tenure system had been violating the right of children to be given better education.

The New York Times: Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure for California

Tenure system has been introduced broadly in posts of educational professionals. Once a teacher gets tenure, he or she is guaranteed a lifetime employment. Instead, most of the other teachers are hired for a limited term. Therefore, the seats of tenure are often a center of competition among teaching specialists. Researchers are also involved in a similar situation.

Tenure system has some advantages. First, tenure teachers are independent from their bosses, such as the chairperson of the school. They can proceed a way of education without being intervened by others. It lets them develop their own specialty about the region they are involved.

Second, tenure researchers can be engaged in a challenge which is hardly achieved. Non-tenure researchers have to earn grants for maintaining their own position. Thus, their content of research tends to be ephemeral, easy to be performed, likely to be understood by sponsors. It may result in stasis of development of research. On the other hand, tenure researchers can plan an ambitious procedure to accomplish a goal which costs lots of time and money.

However, there has been occurring that a few positions of tenure are occupied by limited persons, most of whom are old, associated with some powerful shareholders in some industries. It is considerably harmful.

The judge of this case deemed this situation as problematic. I think it is smart that the lawyers claimed that tenure system had deprived children of opportunity of learning. According to them, some immature teachers had monopolized the tenures so that talented teachers could not teach children. The US courts are very strict about children's right. If they simply insisted their own state, the result of this case would be uncertain.

I think that, although tenure has some benefits, it is not likely to be functional in many industries. First of all, the standard of adopting a teacher as a tenure is vague. Nowadays, lots of people can alter their talents and abilities quickly. It is risky for schools to make sure that a certain person is worthy to be a tenure.

After all, tenure is no more than an insurance for the person who won the seat. And most schools do not have much resource to deliver them it.

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