by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Jeanette Doran of the NC Institute for Constitutional Law recently published a must-read article comparing teacher tenure with the “at will” employment status of most workers in the private sector. Doran concludes,
Overall, there is a gross disparity in employment protection between the majority of North Carolinians employed at-will and public school teachers. In addition to the stark contrast in job security, teachers enjoy that security at the expense of taxpayers across the state—many of whom are employed at-will and can be fired without notice and without cause. As a result, taxpayers end up paying to protect tenured teachers even if they are not adequately performing, but only “making adequate progress toward proficiency” in educating our children.
As I have pointed out, teacher tenure laws were proposed to solve a problem prevalent in the early 20th century — preferential treatment for employment based on one’s political affiliation, name, or acquaintances.