Last updated on: 7/15/2011 | Author: ProCon.org

Jim Whelan, MEd Biography

Title:
New Jersey State Senator (D) and teacher
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"
Reasoning:

“Our traditional public school education is under attack by current proposals to abolish tenure, enact vouchers, and expand charter schools as rapidly as possible…

Gov. Christie [Chris Christie (R)] has framed this issue so that you might think that teachers are the only public employees who have a process for reviewing an individual’s case before dismissing them. Police officers, firefighters and most other public employees have similar protection under civil service rules; in education, that protection is called tenure…

The solution is to change the hearing process from one that takes too long and costs too much to one that is more streamlined… There is a problem with tenure. Let’s fix what’s wrong, not abandon the system that gives teachers the right to a fair hearing before they lose their jobs.”

“Let’s Fix What’s Wrong with Public Schools, Not Attack Them,” shorenewstoday.com, Jan. 31, 2011

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • State Senator, New Jersey, Jan. 8, 2008-present
  • Teacher, Atlantic City School District, 1977-present
  • Chair, State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, New Jersey Senate
  • Vice Chair, Education Commitee, New Jersey Senate
  • Member, Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, New Jersey Senate
  • Assemblymember, New Jersey, 2006-2007
  • President, New Jersey Conference of Mayors, 2001
  • Mayor, Atlantic City, 1990-2001
  • Member, Atlantic City Council 1982-90
  • Former Board Member, Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority
Education:
  • MEd, Temple University, 1976
  • BS, English Education, Temple University, 1970
Other:
  • Born Nov. 8, 1948
  • Inducted into the Temple University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995
  • His wife, Kathy, is a former elementary school teacher
  • His son, Richard, is an Atlantic City, NJ police sergeant currently serving on the city’s bomb squad