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Philanthropy for Education: Behind the Smile

As John Oliver said, “If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring.”

This is now true again in the case of the wealthy, fake, education reform philanthropists including the Broad and Walton Foundations behind TNTP (what used to be called The New Teacher Project), The Partnership for Education Justice, and Students for Education Reform.

Again, the very wealthy blame teachers for poverty caused issues in less successful schools. Broad is listed as the 65th richest person in the world and the six Waltons on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Americans have a net worth of $144.7 billion. This fiscal year three Waltons—Rob, Jim, and Alice (and the various entities that they control)—will receive an estimated $3.1 billion in Wal-Mart dividends from their majority stake in the company. Meet the Family – The Walmart 1%

So behind what boring topic is their evil lurking? According to the New York Times, They are behind the Minnesota challenge to teacher tenure laws.

Opening a new front in the assault on teacher tenure, a group of parents backed by wealthy philanthropists served notice to defendants on Wednesday in a lawsuit challenging Minnesota’s job protections for teachers, as well as the state’s rules governing which teachers are laid off as a result of budget cuts.”

This is an instant replay of the California and New York attempts to do the same thing: Break unions. As Brenda Cassellius, Minnesota’s commissioner of education said,

“Minnesota has some of the most hard-working and talented teachers in the nation, and we are committed to ensuring every student has a dedicated and competent teacher.” “We also have rigorous laws that protect due process for teachers and that, when followed, provide school administrators and school boards with the authority to remove teachers.”

Two years ago I co-wrote this with a local parent, Glen Dalgleish to ease people’s minds about what Tenure is and isn’t.

“Since the Vergara ruling in California, there has been a lot of discussion about “tenure” but there has also been a lot of different interpretations what it actually means and unfortunately there has also been a lot of misinformation.

What Tenure is:

“Tenure is legal protection granted to some teachers that requires the school district to prove just cause before a termination. Tenure is obtained through a multi-year evaluation process of a teacher in a probationary track position and usually requires a vote of the governing body of the school. Once tenure is granted, a teacher is no longer considered an “at-will” employee (an employee that can be terminated for any reason at any time). Rather, to terminate an employee with tenure, a school district must show that it has “just cause” to do so, typically at a hearing before an arbitrator.”

What Tenure is not: 

“Tenure is NOT a lifetime job guarantee. This is a key point to remember, as we believe this where a lot of the misinformation stems from. It is up to administrators, not boards, to make the right decision about tenure at this point. In NYS, they have 3 years to determine the quality of each of their new teachers.”

Why does this issue raising its ugly head? Ask John Oliver…

“If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring.”

The opinions expressed here are solely those of David Greene and do not represent the opinions of edCircuit and/or its parent company MindRocket Media Group.
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  • Tenure makes no sense. Teachers that pass required classes and professional tests should not be treated as at will employees but valued professionals. New teachers should not be fired without cause. A window of opportunity to fire teachers as “at will employees” should be closed.

    April 21, 2016

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