Tenure – What’s In A Word?

At the risk of reigniting this whole NYC Educator – Leo Casey back and forth, I want to make one point: “Tenure” is a very imprecise word in this context. That’s why Casey can say that Green Dot teachers have “tenure” and NYC Educator can say they do not, and they both can be right (even though they both characterize the issue in binary terms, see below).

What “tenure” really refers to in this context is heightened due process rights that teachers enjoy, generally after a certain number of years of service. The policy debate right now boils down to what should that due process look like. Hardly anyone argues to just get rid of it altogether so it’s not binary, yes or no, but rather a continuum. Consequently, when Steve Barr says that Green Dot teachers don’t have “tenure” he means they don’t have the same process rights as teachers elsewhere in LA, but it does not mean they have no rights.

Update: Is there peace in the land? Perhaps not.

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