Part of the reason that Chris Christie is so.... refreshing... to listen to is that he is saying things that we hope others are thinking. When he's talking about the tenure system in New Jersey, all teachers in their K-12 system have to do is manage to not mess up bad enough to get fired for THREE years and they are then set for life--tenure. Even in higher education, it's usually more along the lines of 5-7 years and a bunch of flaming hoops, reports, and committee work (even so, I've seen first-hand what happens when faculty gain tenure and it's not pretty).
But here in the United States, should there be any job, other than a Supreme Court job, in which you keep your nose clean for three years and you are then ridin' the train with a great salary, benefits, and a pension--and little or no accountability to students, other faculty, parents, and administrators?
Here's what I think, if anyone cares. The best way to reform the educational system in the United States is to remove tenure, remove federal and state law that requires 'education degrees' in order to teach, get the federal government out of the equation, and get rid of the teachers unions since they have now outgrown their original purpose.
Hire teachers who have actually studied a subject, who can tell if the material contained in a book is right or wrong, who will stay engaged and actually care about students since they are not promised a job-for-life (or will get out).
Protect the teachers and administrators from helicopter parents who refuse to actually parent but who don't seem to have a problem suing teachers and school districts because little Johnny got a detention for stabbing Judy in the hand with a pencil (he's an Indigo child you know) or because Jill fell on off the swings so now they have to be removed because the school district can't afford the liability insurance. Don't pass zero-tolerance anything--give administrators the latitude they need to actually think something through rather than just say that they are 'following orders'. Don't leave teachers open to lawsuits if they give a crying child a hug or show any human emotion--that's part of teaching too.
But here's Christie, talking sense once more.
3 weeks ago