Teacher tenure: “Failure gets a pass”

Having been critical of the Los Angeles Times yesterday, let me accord all due credit to the paper for its investigative series on the near-impossibility of firing teachers in L.A. The district has spent more than $2 million, for example, trying to get rid of Matthew Kim, a special ed teacher accused of harassing teenagers and colleagues who has been collecting full salary for seven years without actually teaching. One underlying problem: “Kids don’t have a union.” Bloggers react: Ken @ Popehat, Mickey Kaus, Amy Alkon, Brian Doherty. Meanwhile, reports Seyward Darby in the New Republic (via Nick Gillespie), “About 1,400 teachers in New York City are receiving full salaries and benefits even though they don’t have permanent jobs. Two hundred and five of them have been without full-time work for three years. And they can continue receiving payments indefinitely even if they never secure new positions.” It’s called the Absent Teacher Reserve.

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