To the Editor:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California should have comprehended the seriousness of his attempt to win voters’ approval of unnecessary propositions on the Nov. 8 state ballot (“Calif. Teachers Rally Against Ballot Measures,” Oct. 26, 2005). He also needed to understand legal precedents and procedures before he tried destroying the rights of teachers and the learning opportunities for children.
The purpose of teacher-tenure legislation is to secure permanence within the teaching profession (Watson v. Burnett). An employee protected by tenure and seniority rights is assured a permanent position unless employment is suspended or terminated in accordance with the provisions established with an act governing teachers’ tenure (Bragg v School District of Swarthmore). Certification is important, as it relates to the grouping of employees for seniority purposes (Jordahl v. Independent School District No. 129).
Teaching is already a demanding profession. Making it more difficult, by attempting to expand government control of teachers’ rights and responsibilities, will serve only to discourage good people from going into education.
William A. Kritsonis
Professor of Education
Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View, Texas