In this final installment, we examine other aspects of teacher personnel practices, gender segregation and universal preschool to determine how these practices can impact student performance.
-Teacher Tenure and Firing of Teachers:
Pertinent Education Factor: Teacher Quality
No rules have been more destructive of teacher quality in public education over the past forty years than the rules that regulate teacher tenure and the related matter of the removal of teachers. In California, teachers receive tenure after only two years of teaching. Under the rules insisted upon by the teacher unions and agreed to by the state legislatures, the procedure which must be followed in order to remove a teacher on grounds of incompetency generally consists of an initial hearing, followed by two appeal hearings. It is common for these three hearings to take place over a period of eighteen months (during which time the teacher must still be paid). Some contracts require that a teacher ultimately found to be incompetent be given an opportunity to demonstrate the necessary degree of improvement, which has the effect of making the process practically interminable. All such contracts afford the teacher the full gamut of due process rights, including the rights to be represented by an attorney and to have his or her attorney conduct all aspects of litigation ‘discovery.’ This litigation discovery commonly consists of written interrogatories, requests for production of documents, subpoenaing of documents, and the taking of oral depositions, under oath, of any person deemed to be relevant to the charge of incompetency or to the defense to the charge. Even when the school district ultimately