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Teacher Tenure

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 359 times Debate No: 85711
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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I will be debating on the CON side of teacher tenure. PRO will use this first round as an acceptance round. Violation of the following rules will result in an automatic loss for PRO.

Use this first round for acceptance
Do not be rude or mean to each other
Do not include personal beliefs, personal experiences are fine if backed up by evidence.
Do not forfeit, for obvious reasons.


I would like to accept the debate, and take the time to define some pertinent definitions that I believe will be used frequently.

1) Tenure: : the right to keep a job (especially the job of being a professor at a college or university) for as long as you want to have it.

2) Tenure (As defined by American Association of University Professors): Since its founding in 1915, the Association has seen tenure as necessary to protect academic freedom. Tenure, briefly stated, is an arrangement whereby faculty members, after successful completion of a period of probationary service, can be dismissed only for adequate cause or other possible circumstances and only after a hearing before a faculty committee.

The Association, also from its inception, has assumed responsibility for developing standards and practices, sometimes in cooperation with other organizations, to give concrete meaning to tenure. Key Association policy statements are the 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, the 1958 Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings, and the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

I would like to allow the Pro to decide which definition will be used. So far as the debate structure goes, I would like the second round to be stating preliminary arguments. he third and fourth used for rebuttal and concluding statements accordingly, as long as this is amiable to the Pro.

I look forward to this debate, best of luck.



Debate Round No. 1


Here are some facts against Teacher Tenure:

Teacher tenure creates complacency because teachers know they are unlikely to lose their jobs. Tenure removes incentives for teachers to put in more than the minimum effort and to focus on improving their teaching. [8]

Tenure makes it difficult to remove under-performing teachers because the process involves months of legal wrangling by the principal, the school board, the union, and the courts. A June 1, 2009 study by the New Teacher Project found that 81% of school administrators knew a poorly performing tenured teacher at their school; however, 86% of administrators said they do not always pursue dismissal of teachers because of the costly and time consuming process. It can take up to 335 days to remove a tenured teacher in Michigan before the courts get involved. [2] [4]

Tenure makes seniority the main factor in dismissal decisions instead of teacher performance and quality. [21] Tenure laws maintain the "last-hired, first-fired" policy. On Feb. 24, 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the Los Angeles Unified School District, claiming that basing layoffs on seniority harms younger teachers as well as "low-income students and persons of color." [22] On Oct. 6, 2010, both sides settled to cap or end layoffs at schools. [23]

Tenure is not needed to recruit teachers. Sacramento Charter High School, which does not offer tenure, had 900 teachers apply for 80 job openings. [3]

With job protections granted through court rulings, collective bargaining, and state and federal laws, teachers today no longer need tenure to protect them from dismissal. [24] For this reason, few other professions offer tenure because employees are adequately protected with existing laws. [25]

Tenure makes it costly for schools to remove a teacher with poor performance or who is guilty of wrongdoing. It costs an average of $250,000 to fire a teacher in New York City. [27] New York spent an estimated $30 million a year paying tenured teachers accused of incompetence and wrongdoing to report to reassignment centers (sometimes called "rubber rooms") where they were paid to sit idly.Those rooms were shut down on June 28, 2010. [6]

With most states granting tenure after three years, teachers have not had the opportunity to "show their worth, or their ineptitude." [28] A Nov. 21, 2008 study by the University of Washington's Center on Reinventing Public Education found that the first two to three years of teaching do not predict post-tenure performance. [29]

Tenure does not grant academic freedom. No Child Left Behind in 2001 took away much academic freedom when it placed so much emphasis on standardized testing. [10] According to an Oct. 1, 2006 survey published in Planning and Changing, 56% of school board presidents disagreed with the statement that teacher tenure ensures academic freedom. [18]

Tenure at the K-12 level is not earned, but given to nearly everyone. To receive tenure at the university level, professors must show contributions to their fields by publishing research. At the K-12 level, teachers only need to "stick around" for a short period of time to receive tenure. [30] A June 1, 2009 study by the New Teacher Project found that less than 1% of evaluated teachers were rated unsatisfactory. [2]

Tenure is unpopular among educators and the public. An Apr.-May 2011 survey of 2,600 Americans found that 49% oppose teacher tenure while 20% support it. Among teachers, 53% support tenure while 32% oppose it. According to a Sep. 2010 report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 86% of education professors favor "making it easier to terminate unmotivated or incompetent teachers - even if they are tenured." [31] [32]

Teacher tenure does nothing to promote the education of children. Former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said in 2008, "Tenure is the holy grail of teacher unions, but it has no educational value for kids; it only benefits adults." [27]

Teacher tenure requires schools to make long-term spending commitments and prevents districts from being fiscally flexible. Teacher employment contracts generally lack provisions for declining enrollment and economic turmoil. [33]

Tenure lets experienced teachers pick easier assignments and leaves difficult assignments to the least experienced teachers. Senior teachers choose to teach more resource-rich and less challenging populations instead of the classrooms that would benefit the most from experienced teachers. [34] Public Agenda President Deborah Wadsworth argues that teacher tenure leads to "a distribution of talent that is flawed and inequitable." [34]

Most school board presidents criticize teacher tenure. In an Oct. 1, 2006 survey, 91% of school board presidents either agreed or strongly agreed that tenure impedes the dismissal of under-performing teachers. 60% also believed that tenure does not promote fair evaluations. [18]


*You present your facts and then we will post rebuttals for facts from this round*


Mfuss forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Vote for Con since my opponent forfeited.


Mfuss forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Vote for Con!


Mfuss forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by U.n 9 months ago
I think it's important for teachers to be able to slack off in their old age.
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