Teacher Tenure Wars
this time, the math did add up. This time.
In the 11th hour rush to head home for the holidays, some in the
legislature launched a last minute attack on the Holy Grail of the
teacher profession namely teacher tenure.
For educators any assault on that is reason to go to war and the MEA
did, but it had to think about it first.
One school of thought suggested that the teacher's union should cut
a deal with this current batch of lawmakers. They were a known
quantity as compared to the new batch of "legislators" coming in next
year. Who knows what they might try to do? And with Republicans
controlling everything, it could get dicey.
The theory was, deal with the devil you know and live to talk about
it. But the union decided to forget about any deals and just go all
out to kill the two bills.
"Stop the assault on tenure and teacher evaluation," was the message
an an email that was sent to all MEA retirees urging them to get in the
Union lobbyist David Stafford wrote this was an attempt to
"micro-manage the evaluation process for teachers and administrators."
Hardly, the other side contends.
"The current tenure system protects bad teachers," laments Sen.
Wayne Kuipers, a conservative Republican from Holland. And he had
company in the form of Democratic Rep. Tim Melton from Pontiac who
agreed and was more than willing to take on the MEA one more time.
Supporters of the "reforms" argue, go into any school and ask
around. Everyone knows the good and bad instructors, but just try to
get rid of the later.
But the advocates for the legislation could not line-up enough
lame ducks in a row so they reluctantly handed the MEA a victory.
"We did it," declared another post-debate email to those MEA