Reading New Hampshire’s opinion pages lately would lead you to believe that there is no way to remove ineffective teachers from public schools, that NEA-New Hampshire’s sole purpose is to protect bad teachers, and that the only remedy for such a situation is to voucher public education out of existence.
The fact is there is no such thing as teacher tenure in any New Hampshire public school and that no teacher, regardless of the length of time they have been teaching, has a guaranteed job for life. The fact is there is not one contract in this state that makes it impossible to dismiss a teacher. The fact is NEA New Hampshire members, many of whom are parents with children in New Hampshire public schools, have a as large an interest in assuring that quality educators remain in our classrooms as anyone else.
Every collective bargaining agreement signed with school districts in this state has a provision for the removal and dismissal of teachers. The responsibility and final decision for such action rests solely with school administration and district school boards. If any organization continues to employ ineffective workers, the fault rests squarely at the feet of management. The same is true for any school district in this state that does the same.
New Hampshire’s teachers care deeply about our children’s future and are committed to the success of every child in our classrooms. Teachers provide the stable, nurturing, inspiring environment that makes it possible to reach each student individually. Good public schools are the foundation for strong communities and a vibrant economy. Continuing to slash school funding risks losing an entire generation of students who won’t get a second chance.
Providing a world class education to our children requires more from all of us. It requires an effective partnership that holds everyone accountable for our children’s success – teachers, students, parent, and elected officials. Communities must engage and support their neighborhood schools, hold their teachers to high standards, and provide the tools and resources required to ensure that every child succeed.
Wringing our hands over a non-existent problem as an excuse to dismantle the very institution that helps ensure our country’s greatness is just a waste of everyone’s time.