Wednesday, February 8, 2012

South Dakota War College Makes Case For Continuing Contracts For K-12 Teachers

Let's get one thing clear right at the start:  K-12 teachers don't have tenure; they have continuing contract.  Calling continuing contract tenure is like calling a McDonald's fry cook an Iron Chef.  Both provide food, but the latter's is far superior fare.  Continuing contract offers a few protections but it's not tenure

At the Madville Times, Cory reports on Krist Noem's townhall and, as is his wont, takes Noem to task.  At the Dakota War College, "Bill Clay," as is his wont, takes Cory to task.  Both are partisans; both take as much as they give.  In a side note, the Rapid City Journal posts a picture of Cory and Noem talking after the meeting

"Clay," however, concludes his response with the following: "He sets such a darn good example for his students doesn’t he?"

The not so hidden threat within that statement is that Cory's politics make him unqualified to teach and that if "Bill Clay" had his way, Cory would lose his job.  "Clay's" response and its implied threat illustrate why teachers need a modicum of protection.  No one should be fired or threatened with losing his job for writing partisan blogs and playing political hardball with the hyperbole that accompanies the game.  In fact the only people who should lose their job because of their politics are the politicians who hold elected office.

Let's be clear, "Clay" is likely not one of Cory's students nor his evaluating principal, so he has no idea what Cory does in the classroom.  I'm certain that Cory's reading list does not include Sartre, Foucault, or Derrida, so "Bill" doesn't need to worry about radical philosophy.

I've read scores of Cory's debate ballots.  He demands intellectual rigor and a logical presentation.  He's voted for teams or debaters that espouse positions he dislikes.  If I may paraphrase, what happens on the blog, stays on the blog; what happens in the classroom stays in the classroom, and never the twain shall meet.

If "Clay" believes that people cannot change how they behave in a given situation, he should look for statistics on the number of people who praised the Lord last Sunday morning and needed a designated driver after the Super Bowl.

A high school teacher who teaches basic semester classes may have up to 250 students in a year.  Some of them will have parents who disagree with the teacher's politics.  That disagreement should have nothing to do with whether the teacher gets rehired no matter what "Bill Clay" thinks.

1 comment:

caheidelberger said...

I appreciate the vote of confidence, Leo. Even more, I appreciate your ability to turn DWC's trash talk against itself and show why this particular policy change is a really bad idea.