2009-10-30 / Letters

Tenured Teachers

Dear Editor,

It has recently been reported that pressure is exerted on teachers to change student grades or pass students who have records of performance warranting failure. The reasons for the exertion of such pressure by administrators, supervisors or even the Depart ment of Education, if true, are relevant, repugnant and reprehensible. Changing of grades by ad - min istrators or supervisors, if true, compromise the integrity of the educational process.

If teacher evaluations of students are being altered, modified or influenced by events or individuals outside of the classroom, the need for maintaining teacher tenure becomes apparent. Teach er evaluation of students is an integral part of academic freedom. Academic freedom is an es - sential element of a free and democratic society. Only tenure as sures academic freedom for those who are charged with responsibility for educating our young people. Only teach - er tenure can be used against those who would compromise the education of young people. Tenure is the shield for academic freedom.

Misrepresenting a student's growth and progress in school does a disservice to the student and the community. It may assist the particular goals of some ad ministrators and supervisors but in the end it hurts the children and the school system. Every so often it comes to the surface when a parent questions why their child, a senior in high school, cannot read or write, their SAT scores do not comport with school grades and test results, and ac cess to better colleges and scholarships assistance is not a real possibility. One must really question the motives of individuals like Mayor Bloomberg who would end tenure, the defense against those who would decimate educational integrity. Ten ured teachers cannot be punished nor disciplin ed for upholding the Education Law of New York and the rules and regulations of the Commis sioner of Education of the State of New York. Unfortunately, non-ten ure teachers are vulnerable to those who have power and questionable scruples.

JOSEPH MARGOLIN

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