|Parents Slingshot Tenure into Minnesota Spotlight|
|posted by: Alana | April 18, 2016, 08:32 PM|
Four mothers in Minnesota have united behind one common goal: to demand that the state reconsider teacher tenure laws that restrict students’ rights to a “thorough and efficient education” as outlined in the state’s constitution.
Specifically, these mothers take issue with Minnesota’s job protection laws for teachers maintaining that they disproportionately hurt poor and minority populations that are more likely to be assigned ineffective teachers.
Making the Case
The plaintiffs’ suit revolves around three core arguments:
A direct consequence is a system known as “Last in First Out” or “LIFO” in which seniority is valued over performance. Excellent teachers may be let go first if they haven’t been given tenure.
The Faces Behind the Curtain
The lead plaintiff in the case is Tiffini Forslund who is backed by Bonnie Dominguez, Roxanne Draughn, Justina Person, and five of Minnesota’s top attorneys. The case is also gaining widespread support from education reform groups such as Campbell Brown’s Partnership for Educational Justice and Students for Education Reform.
According to Daniel Weisberg, chief executive of TNTP (formerly the New Teacher Project), changing tenure laws is just one step to improving education. “Just as doing a better job of retaining teachers is a piece of the puzzle and having positive school culture that teachers want to work in,” he said.
AAE and Tenure
AAE members are split on eliminating tenure all together; however, opinions are shifting as public opinion moves in the direction of elimination. An overwhelming majority of AAE teacher members believe that tenure is not necessary for an educator to properly perform his or her job effectively and a vast majority asserts that achieving tenure does not indicate that a teacher is, in fact, effective.
Do you agree that performance is more important than seniority in determining a teacher’s effectiveness?