The Instigator
fshibley
Pro (for)
The Contender
sboss18
Con (against)

Colleges should abolish the ability for teachers to be tenured.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2017 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 724 times Debate No: 100366
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)

 

fshibley

Pro

Teachers who perform below benchmarks such as retention, attendance, academic performance results, assessing required learning outcomes and student feedback, should not be allowed tenure because students suffer to be successful and colleges suffer in graduation rates.
sboss18

Con

I thank Pro for challenging me to this debate. Since I assume their opening statement was made in their R1 post, I will begin mine as well. I will be arguing against the idea that tenure for college professors should be abolished. I have three main claims:

[Claim 1]: Tenure is a necessity

[Claim 2]: Tenured teachers can still be fired (and other misconceptions)

[Claim 3]: Research supports tenure


[C1]: Tenure is a necessity


The concept of tenure dates back over 100 years ago to the early 20 century, when working in the field of education was much different than what it is today [1]. It was female-dominated, classrooms were larger, and working conditions were poorer [2]. Before tenure, teachers could be fired for any reason. If a teacher had the audacity to get married or, even more horrific, pregnant, the schoolboard could immediately fire her. Tenure and teachers' unions were created to guarantee some amount of job protection for teachers. They wanted the peace of mind to know their job wouldn't be terminated for seemingly no reason. At the high school level, most schools require teachers work at the same school for 3-5 years before being considered for tenure, and there are many factors taken into account, with the most important one being a teacher's ability to teach. At the university level, I believe you have to have taught for 6 years before tenure consideration. Once a teacher is granted tenure, however, it does not mean they are immune from being fired.


"Tenure protects academic freedom. In the absence of tenure, teachers may be fired for any reason. Teachers may be fired if the principal doesn't like them or if they are experienced and become too expensive. Teachers may be fired for being outspoken. [2]"


In other words, tenure gives teachers a safeguard to be able to be more involved with the decisions being made at their school, as opposed to being complacent and accepting any and all changes. At the college level, this is incredibly important as professors want to challenge their students and (sometimes) have them confront and critique their already-established beliefs. When I took a Sociology course my senior year of university, our professor warned us of an upcoming lecture the following week where she was going to discuss religion and look at many of the popular ones under a critical lens. I thought this was a strange warning, as anyone whose convictions are strong enough should be fine with having their beliefs challenged. To my surprise, however, many students' parents would contact her to complain. Tenure in this situation protects the professor from being fired simply because a student didn't like one of their lectures.




[C2]: Tenured teachers can still be fired (and other misconceptions)


There are a lot of myths surrounding the idea of tenure, which is primarily the reason why I accepted this debate in the first place. Some people, for example, think that tenured teachers cannot be fired and have permanent job security forever and can therefore sit back and be a less effective teacher with no criticism whatsoever. This is absolutely not true. Again, tenure grants teachers job security and the inability to be fired without due process. Ineffective (or "bad") teachers can still be terminated. However, I think firing someone with no intervention or professional development workshops to help them is a bit harsh. Tenure (especially at the university level) is something that needs to be earned from the hardest-working teachers after a long and arduous process. They have to have committed some amount of research outside their teaching hours, demonstrate very strong teaching abilities, among many other factors. Tenure does not "protect" "burnt-out" teachers either.



"How many students have complained about a teacher they see as too strict or "boring" - only to realize later in life that this teacher made a profound difference in their lives? Research shows that there is no one style that equates to effective teaching - which underscores why a fair hearing is needed before the imposition of a serious consequence such as firing a teacher who has demonstrated years of effective teaching. [3]"



[C3]: Research supports tenure


Not only have we established tenure does not help bad teachers keep their job, but there is abolutely no research that suggests students perform worse on standardized tests when taught by a tenured teacher, nor is there evidence that supports perform better with non-tenured teachers [2].


Not only this, but tenured teachers and professors also feel to have a higher obligation to be involved in school-making decisions.


"Research finds that when teachers have a say in how schools are run, they are more likely to be invested in the school and to stay longer, and are more engaged with colleagues in cooperative work. [4]"



In conclusion, tenure is a necessary provision for good teachers and promotes a stronger school culture, thus increasing academic achievement, not hindering it. The myth that tenure protects ineffective teachers is simply untrue. I await Pro's response. Thank you.



Sources:


[1] http://www.peoplesworld.org...


[2] http://www.nytimes.com...


[3] http://www.nysut.org...


[4] http://www.aft.org...





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Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
I'm still willing to start this debate over.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
Because you changed the title of the debate, the "My Debates" page kept the old URL and title name, thus giving you the 404. You had to access it some other way.
Posted by fshibley 1 year ago
fshibley
I have reported the technical difficulty to the site owner. From the time you completed your round, I was unable to access the debate. Every time that I did the I got the following message: Oops... this page doesn't seem to exist.

I apologize that you may have thought I was negligent in responding but it was truly do to the inability to access. This is the first time I have been able to see it.

Hopefully in the future, we can review this debate issue again. I am currently attempting to teach a class of 30 students how to use this site to debate in assigned teams.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
I'm willing to debate you on this topic again if you want to reinstate it.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
Don't waste my time by challenging me to a debate and then not finishing the debate Pro.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
Don't forfeit the round, Pro.
Posted by fshibley 1 year ago
fshibley
Done
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
If you change the resolution to match your stance on abolishing tenure altogether, I will gladly accept.
Posted by mlkkk 1 year ago
mlkkk
i agree
Posted by mlkkk 1 year ago
mlkkk
i agree
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