A Teacher Calls Out Teacher Seniority

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Whoa. Exactly right, dude. (From an op-ed in yesterday’s Providence Journal.)

Is putting such emphasis on seniority really in the best interests of the teachers? We, as teachers and professionals, look foolish showing the door to a rising superstar while retaining the services of “Mr. Deadwood” upstairs in history.

If I’m clearly an underperforming teacher why am I not on the short list to be shown the door? What can we possibly tell students who lament losing that rising superstar when they sincerely ask, “Why is the abysmal Mrs. Do-Little still here?” Good question, kids. Unfortunately, the answer has nothing to do with what’s best for you. Sad.



  • Ron Ruggieri

    This teacher’s ” heroic ” Providence Journal column attacking the ” seniority ” system got fulsome praise on right-wing talk radio yesterday. As a democratic socialist I think it would take a lot more courage for a public school teacher to denounce ruling class control of public education. Training kids to survive in the capitalist rat race and the glorification of philistine ” success ” does more harm to the soul of the student than a few befogged older teachers with rancid ” seniority ” privilege.
    Union hating intrigue does not promote ” Democracy in America “.
    Everywhere the ruling class has its pets.

    • Mike678

      Frankly, I’m not sure you know how to think. But I applaud freedom of speech (something socialists do not support, in general–perhaps because complaining about the lack of food and resources is anti-socialist (see Venezuela)), especially as it allows people to demonstrate their lack of thought…

  • sfcpete

    Congratulations Mr Marra. I believe in the military system – up or out.

  • oceanstater

    I can appreciate the point that seniority can be a substantial problem, but this is a classic type-1 type 2 error tradeoff. Can anyone doubt that of there was no seniority, that who-you-know and how you kissed-the-right-behind would play a bigger role in any personnel decision, not necessarily what is best for the kids? Striking a balance is the key, seniority shouldn’t rule but teachers, already under plenty of stress, have rights too, and they need to protected adequately of there is to be a capable workforce attracted to this profession.

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