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Viewers respond to teacher tenure report

April 5, 2014 at 4:57 PM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to “Viewers Like You.” Your reaction to some of our recent work, including some of the comments you voted most popular.

Most of the feedback we received this week focused on our signature story from last Saturday’s broadcast about a lawsuit challenging California’s teacher tenure laws – a lawsuit brought by several students who say those laws are preventing them from getting a good education.

The kids’ lawsuit is being funded by a multimillionaire

One viewer wrote this online:

“This lawsuit is all about putting the jack boot of the billionaires on the throats of teachers. Be honest, this is about silencing teachers and firing veteran educators – nothing more.”

Another like-minded viewer added this:

“Be careful what you wish for! If this lawsuit is successful, it would usher in the advent of privatized education for all. Public school would die on the vine and if you want your kids to have an education, then you would have to pay teachers what they are really worth, instead of the peanuts they get now. “

That comment brought this retort.

“I would much rather homeschool my kids than have a ” stubborn, ill-disciplined, pathetic, moronic, verbose, idiotic” public school classroom teacher!”

And “Chris” had this to say.

“What serious company do you know that would actually give their employees such benefits like tenure or seniority? Do you think Google, Apple, etc. would be some of the greatest companies on earth if they allowed such employment practices. Absolutely not. We need to hold our public school system to the standards of the private sector.”

Rachel Andrews saw that the other way around. She wrote…

“I am a school counselor, and I would love to be held to the standards of the private sector. When I worked in the private sector, I started work at a specific time each day, and stopped around a specific time each day. Having been an employee of a public school system for seven years, I get to work early and leave very late, rarely even having time to eat lunch or use the restroom. I typically work twelve hour days, and dedicate weekends and vacation days to school-related camps, conferences, and other ventures. “

Stephanie Downer Baber told us on Facebook that getting rid of tenure…“paves the way for teachers to be gotten rid of when the district wants a new teacher that starts at the bottom of the pay scale.”

But Lori Farrell wrote that she supported the lawsuit. She said she witnessed: “quite a few teachers in my time who should have been fired but were carried to retirement.”

And Jess McKay wrote:

“I have worked extensively in unionized and non- unionized schools in Los Angeles, and I will tell you the non-unionized schools are WAY better. Just because there is no union doesn’t mean teachers aren’t being taken care of.”

Remember you can always tell us what you think, respond to the stories online at newshour.pbs.org, or on our Facebook page or tweet us back @newshour.