Tenure Is Bad For Education.
This came up in a debate in comments to this post, wherein myself, Former Union Teacher and Chris Patil get into it regarding use of teacher's union dues for political purposes:
I propose the following syllogistic argument for why tenure is bad for the quality of education:
1. The most important facet of education quality is the quality of the teacher. Accordingly, bad teachers usually mean bad education quality.
2. Tenure makes it harder (actually near impossible) to fire bad teachers, by protecting them from termination based on seniority or other factors unrelated to performance/merit.
3. Therefore, tenure has an adverse affect on the qualify of education.
That, in handy and user-friendly format, is why I support lengthening the tenure requirement from 2 to 5 years, as Schwarzeneggar's initiative would do.
I am certainly open to criticisms and empirical challenges to my simplistic and theoretical argument and I welcome comments.
UPDATE: Senator Campbell's blog has some interesting data on the CTA and political expenditures, including this tidbit:
"The CTA has annual dues revenues of around $95 million, of which about $14 million is spent directly on political campaigns, media buying and government relations. And that is before the recent $18 million dues increase that is intended entirely for the demonization the Governor."