Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has infuriated the left by proposing ending tenure at Texas public universities for all new hires.
Patrick already led the charge to successfully make it much harder for k-12 teachers to get lifetime job security regardless of performance through tenure rules.
Patrick said it well when he unveiled the plan: no longer will bad teachers at UT colleges get to “stand behind the false rhetoric of ‘academic freedom’ to prevent getting fired.”
You know it’s a great idea given how strenuously the UT leadership and the faculty oppose it. UT President Dan Hartzell said the move would “cripple the state’s ability to recruit and retain top professors.”
That’s nonsense. Private companies recruit and retain top professionals without offering them lifetime job security. Universities have had negative productivity gains over the last 40 years and that is on part because universities can’t get rid of bad teachers. Tenure protects lousy teachers, not the top talent.
There is virtually no other class of workers -with the exception of government employees – who can’t get fired. The most profitable enterprises reward excellence and rid themselves of under performers. Why not hold teachers to the highest standards?
By the way, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott still hasn’t endorsed the idea. So much for putting kids first.
“Removing tenure would not only cripple Texas’ ability to recruit and retain great faculty members, it would also hurt Texas students, who would not be able to stay in state knowing that they will be learning from the very best in the country,” Hartzell said. “It would also increase the risk of universities across the state making bad decisions for the wrong reasons.”