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A MODEST PROPOSITION

Ms. Cornelius weighs in on Proposition 74, the controversial ballot measure in California that would lengthen teachers’ probationary period from two years to five and generally make it easier for schools to fire ineffective teachers. In her view, the measure avoids the real problems (and the real culprits):

Incompetent teachers should be fired. ... But increasing the lagtime for tenure is only one tiny piece of the puzzle. Unspoken is the fact that those [incompentent] teachers were hired by someone, observed by someone (supposedly), and rehired by someone. Bad teachers do not pop out of nowhere. I don't see laws addressing these facts. Instead, I see yet another attempt to demonize teachers, while leaving untouched the larger issue of making teaching an honored and valued profession.

Californians will vote on Prop. 74 as part of a special election on November 8.

P.S. Whatever you think of Ms. C's thoughts on Prop. 74, you have to love her bio: "high school teacher, guitar goddess, black belt, softball jockette, working mom, exhausted wife, dutiful daughter, bibliophile, autodidact, and terrible housekeeper."


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