Public School Probation to Increase with Prop 74
October 20, 2005 4:11 PM
Proposition 74 increases the probation period for public school teachers from two to five years. It also alters the process by which school boards can dismiss a teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.
Most Republicans support Proposition 74 while many Democrats have spoken out against it.
Supporters claim that regardless of their performance, once California school teachers reach their two-year tenure they are guaranteed a job for life. Even with unsatisfactory evaluations it is virtually impossible to have the teacher fired without paying them thousands of dollars.
"There's no proof that students will do better or teachers will be more qualified if the teacher probationary period is changed to five years from two years,” said freshman Kathleen Brennan, 18, an economics major. "Prop 74 does nothing to reward great teachers, but makes it harder to find and keep quality teachers that we desperately need right now."
Supporters of Proposition 74 also hold that the proposition will give more authority to principals and school districts to decide whether a teacher is performing well, and it will fix the current problem of locking teachers into the school system which makes it nearly impossible to get out of.
Opponents have dubbed Proposition 74 the “Blame Teachers Act.” They say that the measure would do nothing to improve public education and that it is just masking the real problems. They declare that it unfairly blames teachers for the problems in the public school system, and ignores the realities of under funding, overcrowding and the lack of materials and resources needed for effective teaching and learning.
Critics also say that the proposition is unnecessary, misleading and poorly drafted. They claim that in the end it will actually make it harder to get rid of a teacher who is not doing their job. They point out that even now no teacher has a guaranteed job, and that there is already a system in place to fire teachers who are not performing.
Proposition 74 does not directly affect SF State professors, but if it passes it will impact students graduating into the teaching field.
“I am voting no on Prop. 74 on Nov. 8 because Prop. 74 is a waste of time and money. It's avoiding the real problems in schools today,” said Brennan. “The money spent on implementing Prop 74 could instead go to buying new books and computers for our school and helping reduce class size.”
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