Which is more important teachers tenure or student learning?


I was a participant in a discussion recently about how it is possible that teachers that do not have the requisite skills and experience end up teaching Computer Science. Does this happen in Calculus, Physics or Maori language? It seems that teacher’s tenure may be more important than having subject matter expertise, and students may miss out as a consequence.

In business, if you change what you are doing you typically initiate a restructuring process. If there is a mismatch of existing staff skills with skills required you can implement a combination of:

  1. Re-skill/Up-skill existing staff
  2. Make staff redundant
  3. Recruit expertise you require

If there is a shortage of the skills you require you pay more – sometimes significantly more to acquire the skills you require. Once you have these skills you leverage  them as much as possible ie

  1. Give them Administrative support so they don’t waste time on areas that can be done by others
  2. Use their skills to mentor and up-skill other staff.

I wonder if this approach is used in private or charter schools? Is this process available / viable in public schools which are heavily unionized? I don’t know but would like to find out.


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