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[Susan notes: Kudos to the writer for extending her argumnts for the need for tenure to the larger issue of political control.]

Published in USA Today

To the editor

The security that tenure brings adds to the effectiveness of a teacher's practice. Always worrying about pleasing whoever is in charge at the moment and stressing over one's future would certainly detract from the attention that a teacher gives to her or his studies, teaching and students ( States weaken tenure rights for teachers).

Doing away with tenure for public school teachers, combined with low pay and increased surveillance of performance, would add to the exodus of the best teachers from the profession. And those teachers who persevere would need to stick to the status quo or risk being fired for political reasons. This likely is behind much of the call for scrapping tenure.

Political control is increasing all around us, and the schools are a primary and convenient site for this. Without tenure, harassment could turn to termination of employment, and consequently lead to the hiring of robotic yes-people. This would encourage an increase in the mindless reduced-to-the-test, so-called education that's being forced upon teachers already.

Paula Meyer

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