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City of Jersey City

BretSchundler
Mayor
Office of the Mayor
September 19, 2000

Prospective Gubernatorial Candidate, Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler, to Call on Trenton to End Tenure for Poor Performing Teachers

Jersey City
At a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, Mayor Bret Schundler will call for an immediate end to a teacher tenure system that keeps poor performing teachers in the classroom.

“In every other profession performance is the primary basis for continued employment. If you can't do the job, someone else is hired who can. Why should teachers be exempt from termination due to poor performance? If anything, those tasked with educating our children should be held to the highest of standards. Ending tenure for bad teachers is a basic child-centered reform that we need now,” said Schundler.

Teachers' unions, to include the New Jersey Education Association, have countered that mechanisms already exist to terminate bad teachers. But since termination can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take years to pursue, poor performing teachers are rarely, if ever, removed from the classroom.

A Gannett New Jersey poll released Sunday, September 17, shows that 59 percent of New Jerseyans support ending tenure for bad teachers. Schundler says that even though the public supports this common-sense reform, Trenton politicians are reluctant to push for it because many of them fear recrimination from the teachers' union.

“Ending tenure is about putting the children first rather than the special interests. Each year of bad teaching is a disaster for children. We should reward quality teachers and hold bad ones accountable. I have no doubt that good teachers would agree with that,” said Schundler. “After all, teachers don't enter this rewarding profession, which is a calling for many, for the promise of lifetime employment.”

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