Definition: What is tenure? In general terms, tenure is a guaranteed job contract that is given to individuals who have over a period of between two and seven years, proved their skills. After this point, they cannot be fired without just cause. In terms of teaching, the purpose of tenure is to give teachers the freedom to pursue research and teach as they see fit without concerns of a political nature. It is often very hard to remove a tenured teacher, as severe misconduct must be proved. Teacher tenure has come under fire over the past decade as one of the problems facing education. Teachers argue that they have earned tenure and should be able to feel secure in their job so as to free them up to do a better job. Further, they do not wish to feel as if their personal opinions or political beliefs should have an impact on whether they have a teaching job. On the other hand, opponents argue that removing teacher tenure would give administrators the ability to more easily get rid of poor performing teachers.
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