Basic rights that teachers do not have
A report entitled “The Rise and Fall of the Teaching Profession: Fame, Interest, Readiness and Satisfaction Over the Past Half-Century,” written by researchers at Brown and Albany Universities, concludes that the teaching profession is in trouble. It should cause serious national concern. “
They looked at factors such as “education funding, teacher salaries, external opportunities, union activity, barriers to entry, working conditions, accountability, autonomy, and school shootings” from 1970 to 2022 and found: I am writing to
Across all the indicators we measure, our findings show that overall happiness in the teaching profession today is at or near historically low levels. Perceptions of teacher prestige have fallen between 20% and 47% over the past decade, at or near the lowest levels recorded in the last half-century. Interest in teaching among high school seniors and college freshmen has fallen 50% since the 1990s and 38% since 2010, reaching the lowest level in 50 years. The number of new entrants to the profession has fallen by about a third over the past decade, and the percentage of college graduates in teaching is at its lowest in his 50 years. Teacher job satisfaction is also at its lowest level in 50 years, and the percentage of teachers who feel the stress of their job is worth it has fallen from 81% to 42% over the past 15 years. Although recent attention has focused on how the pandemic has made the job of teachers more difficult, most of these declines have occurred steadily throughout the past decade, and the larger long-term impact of the profession has been on the rise. suggest that it is a function of structural problems across
There is a related problem that contributes to teacher morale. It is a lack of rights as an educator. West Joshua Weishart, a law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, discusses this in the following post. Weishart’s research focuses on the right to education. This commentary is based on research and analysis Weishart researched in The Right to Teach, recently published in his review by Law at the University of California, Davis.
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Exhausted and depressed. Public school teachers in America are in dire straits. The law should provide comfort and protect their freedom of education, or at least the right to teach. it’s not.
In fact, teachers have fewer legal protections this new year than they did just a decade ago, thanks to successful campaigns in states to destabilize teachers’ rights. It is no coincidence that the nationwide revocation of teachers’ rights coincided with the defamation of the teaching profession that is part of a broader attack on public education.
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The problem is that the law does not protect teachers. as an educator.
Certainly, legal protections exist for teachers as civil servants, but the general feeling that tenure and collective bargaining, the two most cited, adequately protect teachers distorts reality.
For example, it has become a credo among critics that tenure makes it impossible to fire a “bad teacher.” Even if public school teachers were laid off at about the same rate as comparable private sector employees.
But if a school retains ineffective teachers, it has less to do with the law of due process than the law of supply and demand. The supply of qualified teachers has been declining exponentially for decades.
Considering that almost half of new teachers leave the profession within five years, and that most states take at least three years to obtain tenure, eliminating or undermining tenure due process protections is not an option. Hardly justified, much less a priority.
Nonetheless, in the past decade, four states have been “functionally eliminated” or abolished ownership entirely: Florida, Idaho, Kansas, and North Carolina. Attacks on tenure aren’t limited to the Red State. California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York have constitutional challenges to tenure.
Despite all the hype, tenure does not protect prospective teachers against state abolitions or tenure changes. write bigTenure also does not guarantee teacher salaries or exempt teachers from layoff policies, job changes, redeployments or transfers.
Teachers’ unions and the right to collective bargaining have also been criticized. But unlike private sector employees, public school teachers have no federal right to bargain collectively or to strike. Such protections are a matter of state law and are subject to change. And her seven states of Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin have made sweeping changes to curtail or outright ban collective bargaining for teachers.
Most states gain influence over teachers without directly restricting their labor rights. Federal accountability policies require states to use defective teacher evaluations based on test scores in determining teacher hiring, tenure, compensation, and dismissal, but there are restrictions on their use. All relevant issues were removed from the negotiating table.
Also excluded: Teacher voices on typical educational topics such as curriculum, student assessment, and remediation. Nevertheless, teachers are frequently blamed for the failure of reforms on these issues. Teachers have some influence over educational policy because of political forces, not workers’ rights. And it is because of their perceived political strength that many states are excluding topics from teachers’ collective bargaining that are otherwise required or permitted for private sector workers. It’s for
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has praised state efforts to undermine teacher unions, most recently in a 5-4 vote in 2018. Janus v. AFSCME A decision prohibiting the distribution of fees to non-members for services rendered by unions to non-members through exclusive collective bargaining. Janus reversed the 1977 decision Abboud v. Detroit School Boarda 40-year precedent that supported such a “fair share” fee provided it did not support union political activity. Janus Instead, it encourages teachers to withdraw from the union entirely, saving the cost of joining the union while reaping all its benefits.
early postJanus According to multiple reports, the free-riding problem has actually escalated decades of declining membership in some states, while in others the bargaining power of teacher unions has already declined. , remains a looming threat.
The law in its application broadly reflects the view that the teaching profession is like any other job and therefore teachers should be hired, fired and mistreated in the workplace just like us. In the public sector, there is little uniqueness or particularity regarding teachers’ rights. States can (and often do) grant other civil servants similar collective bargaining and tenure rights through civil service laws. cause termination.
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But what if the Supreme Court decided on teachers’ First Amendment rights in the classroom, special consideration for academic freedom? Well, that’s probably the biggest fallacy.
Teachers should not “waive their constitutional right to freedom of speech or expression at school gates.” But when the schoolhouse bells start the school day, court decisions ring hollow, and teachers are sometimes less protected than students.Where courts have remained silent on such matters, most lower courts have bridged that silence by allowing teachers to number No First Amendment rights as an educator in the classroom, virtually no academic freedom.
Should the Supreme Court change course or dare to trust a divided and dysfunctional Congress, there is another way to protect teachers as educators rather than waiting with bated breath. It’s time to consider
A first step in that direction begins with a modest but somewhat revolutionary recognition. A teacher’s right is a right to education, and a right to education is also a teacher’s right.
After all, education is fundamentally a relational process and practice between teachers and students. Indeed, research overwhelmingly confirms the overriding importance of that relationship to learning processes and educational outcomes. You risk more than you lose. Such infringement undermines the quality education guaranteed by the state constitution.
Teacher educational freedom advocates should set their sights on state law, as reproductive freedom advocates have done since last year’s Supreme Court ruling was overturned. Roe v. Wade case Guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. The former has distinct advantages, given the half-century of decisions that interpret states’ constitutional rights.
A corresponding right to education should, at a minimum, protect teachers’ discretion over their own teaching methods. in short, how They teach you how to build and maintain positive relationships Model democratic mindsets, attitudes and temperamentsIf we want to foster such freedom in our students, their teachers must be free too.
But in the face of constant punitive threats, teachers cannot experience the freedom to educate themselves. The right to teach, therefore, is limited by poor student performance resulting from the state’s own systematic failure to fund and integrate public schools (primarily the failure to equitably fund and integrate public schools), and the state’s commitment to democratically educate. Teachers need to be immunized against refusing to adopt educational practices that violate their constitutional obligations (eg, censorship, scripted curricula, etc.).
In short, the Right to Teach must recognize that teachers are constitutional stakeholders in democratic educational projects that serve the interests of students and all of us. To deny teachers the right to be heard about their teaching, their students’ learning, and the importance of their relationship to education is an insult to injury that teachers should no longer be expected to endure.
Teachers advocate pandemic health measures, fetishized parental rights, anti-racist censorship, LGBTQ book bans, teacher pledges of allegiance, cameras in classrooms to monitor teaching of dangerous ideas has tolerated so many insults in the recent manufactured culture wars over the demands of All fit into the narrative of public schools failing to induce the privatization of education, even though the same teachers hope to arm themselves and prevent mass shootings. , purportedly to address teacher shortages, seeks to undermine teachers’ competence by depriving them of their specialization.
However, given these escalating threats, the crisis is not “teacher shortage” but “teacher alienation.” If the best thing we can do about our teachers’ miserable plight is to kneel down and say “pay more,” then we risk making the unintended suggestion that “everyone has a price”. I have. That proposal dehumanizes teachers and education itself.
So, in addition to paying teachers more (which we absolutely should), we need to respect teachers by giving them the utmost respect for their work. There are countless ways we can do that, but none is more fundamental than constitutionalizing their educational freedom, their right to teach.