Monday, February 20, 2006

Oberweis terms tenure for teachers ‘bunk’

As many of you know CRAFT has getting rid tenure in the K -12 system as part of the No Taxpayer Left Behind platform.

Oberweis terms tenure for teachers ‘bunk’
By Eric Krol
Daily Herald Political Writer
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2006

Republican governor candidate Jim Oberweis called teacher tenure “bunk” Friday, suggesting the state scrap the practice in favor of a system based on merit pay.

“If you really care and you really want to improve our educational system, you’ve got to reward the best teachers and you’ve got to get rid of the bad teachers,” said Oberweis in a meeting with the Daily Herald editorial board. “Tenure does one thing. It protects the bad teachers.”

That stand puts the Sugar Grove dairy magnate alone among the four major candidates running in the March 21 Republican governor primary. Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka of Riverside, Chicago businessman Ron Gidwitz and Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady support teacher tenure.

The tenure question was spurred by a downstate Small Newspaper Group series last year that showed only 38 of the state’s 876 school districts have ever been successful in firing a teacher the past 18 years.

“Absolutely I would get rid of tenure because it only hurts the school system,” Oberweis said. “It only helps keep the bad teacher in their position.”

Oberweis acknowledged his stance probably wouldn’t win him support from teachers and teacher unions, but said he’s “a businessman, not a politician.”

He suggested a merit-based pay system for teachers, but would leave the details to be worked out by a panel of experts he’d appoint if elected.

For the rest of the story click here to go to the Daily Herald.

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