It’s no secret that California’s public school system is in shambles. Proposition 74 aims to fix that system with good intent, but ultimately misses the underlying problems that have plagued the state for years.
Under Prop 74, the length of time required for a teacher to earn tenure would extend from two years to five, allowing schools to “weed out the problem teachers.” But the path to becoming a teacher is already long and financially unrewarding. Prop 74 only lessens the job security or a career in education, making it possible for school districts to bounce teachers from school to school without assuring them a stable job.
And let’s not forget that the path to tenure is not without its politics. Passing Prop 74 would give school administrators greater leverage to fire teachers over disagreements in teaching styles or personality clashes, while limiting the options teachers would have to appeal their dismissal. It could discourage new teachers from teaching in nontraditional styles and force them to gear their curriculums toward the onslaught of standardized tests facing students, if they want good evaluations and a job come next school year.
It doesn’t take a college degree to see that Prop 74 is not what California’s schools need.