A long-shot bid to spark a legislative debate on repealing teacher tenure sparked little interest from state lawmakers, a member of Louisiana’s top school board said.
“I was disappointed,” said Chas Roemer, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Roemer sent letters in April to all 144 lawmakers asking they sign pledges they would “work to end tenure in our state.”
He said Friday he only got 20 or so responses — about 14 percent — and even those had varying views on the issue.
“One of the things that frustrates me is not the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers I got,” Roemer said.
“Those don’t frustrate me nearly as much as a non-response,” he said.
“If we are going to be serious about improving our state, we can’t avoid taking on difficult issues,” Roemer said.
Teacher tenure is meant to protect public school teachers from unfair firings.
Under today’s rules, teachers undergo formal evaluations at least once every three years.
They earn job security — tenure — after three years on the job if they meet certain standards.
Roemer and other critics argue tenure keeps school systems from getting rid of poor-performing teachers.
Teacher union leaders called Roemer’s proposal a “red herring.”
They said tenure ensures due process for teachers and the law is not a problem.