Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Peru Teacher Fired

The teaching license of a Peru teacher was revoked after he was found to be viewing pornography on a classroom computer.

Here is how a teacher is fired in NY state (and probably most other states). The teacher was accused in March of 2004 and put on paid leave. In January of 2005 he was found guilty by an administrative hearing officer and suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2004 - 2005 school year.

The school board appeals and later a county court judge rules that besides suspension without pay, the teacher needs to attend counseling.

Finally, the State Certification Board reopens the case after its review, and an arbitrator recommends that the teachers teaching license be pulled. The teacher still has rights to appeal.

It takes almost four years for the teacher to be fired for admittedly viewing porn on a computer located in a second grade classroom.

Firing a tenured teacher is almost impossible. It takes years of hearings and appeals and costs well over $100,000 to even attempt to fire a tenured teacher. Because of this, the percentage of teachers that are fired is minscule. Rubber rooms are not the answer and teachers should have carefully defined rights concerning allegations of misconduct. But it seems reasonable that teacher misconduct and incompetence cases should not take years and tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars to be brought to a conclusion.

An instructive article about teachers unions can be found here.

Is "peer review" the answer to getting rid of incompetent teachers?

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