Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"
"Nearly every new teacher - over 97% - is automatically tenured after two years. Let me ask you this: If the tables were turned and they were giving out ‘A’s’ to nearly every student, wouldn’t an ‘A’ lose its meaning?
Current tenure and evaluation practices aren’t just meaningless for parents and districts, they are equally meaningless for the dedicated teachers seeking to grow and improve…
[O]nce we have a meaningful system in place, we cannot continue to automatically guarantee lifetime employment to all teachers, nor can we make decisions about assignments, transfers and layoffs solely on the basis of seniority. Tenure and seniority must be reformed or we will be left with only one option: eliminating it entirely."
Speech delivered at the Public Policy Institute of California's "California's Future" conference, mayor.lacity.org, Dec. 7, 2010