Teaching Profession

Do Teachers Need Tenure Changes to Believe in Students?

By Anthony Rebora — May 14, 2010 1 min read

In an editorial, the Denver Post defends a bill just passed by the Colo. Legislature that will tie teachers’ tenure status to students’ academic progress:

Despite hysterical assertions to the contrary, it is not meant to set up teachers as scapegoats for the sociological and economic disadvantages that their students bring to school with them. It is not an effort to fire teachers en masse. It is an effort to recalibrate their mission in a very specific way. The foundation of this measure is the firm belief that even students who come from troubled circumstances can learn. These are the very students that public education should not and cannot give up on. They need more educators in their corner who believe in them, and who, quite frankly, have a vested interest in their success.

I am not judging the merits of the bill, but I do think it’s interesting that the implicit assumption of the Post‘s argument is that teachers currently aren’t supportive of disadvantaged children—i.e., that they need special prodding to become “vested” in their students’ progress. Is there any truth in that? Would be curious to hear what others think.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.