Eric Hinesley: Teacher dropouts plentiful

April 8, 2013 

Teacher dropouts plentiful

Regarding the March 31 article “Teacher tenure sparks a fight”: in North Carolina about 50 percent of people who go into teaching are no longer teaching after five years. No military force could remain viable with such losses. The usual scapegoat for poor student performance is “teacher quality,” but I disagree.

It’s time to quit fanning smoke and put out the fire. If teachers aren’t good enough, I ask why? Do the universities that train teachers not understand their mission? Most young people who go into teaching are motivated and want to succeed. Then, they find themselves in a system that quickly kills them off.

An old friend – a veteran of battle in Europe during World War II – once said that if a person could survive two days on the battlefield, he had a good chance of making it. In like manner, it seems that our new teachers are going into a battle which many do not survive.

Eliminating tenure is just another obstacle. If we need to get rid of bad teachers, there must be a better way to do it; we don’t need another negative incentive for people in the teaching profession.

Eric Hinesley

Raleigh

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