If this doesn’t describe why tenure in teaching is inherently flawed…not sure what does….

  1. Teacher tenure creates complacency because teachers know they are unlikely to lose their jobs.
  2. Tenure removes incentives for teachers to put in more than the minimum effort and to focus on improving their teaching.
  3. Tenure makes it difficult to remove underperforming teachers because the process involves months of legal wrangling by the principal, the school board, the union, and the courts.
  4. A June 1, 2009 study by the New Teacher Project found that 81% of school administrators knew a poorly performing tenured teacher at their school; however, 86% of administrators said they do not always pursue dismissal of teachers because of the costly and time-consuming process.
  5. Tenure makes seniority the main factor in dismissal decisions, instead of teacher performance and quality.
  6. Tenure laws maintain the “last-hired, first-fired” policy. Layoffs on seniority harms younger teachers.
  7. Tenure is not needed to recruit teachers.
  8. With job protections through court rulings, collective bargaining, and state and federal laws, teachers today no longer need tenure to protect them from dismissal.
  9. Tenure makes it costly to remove a teacher with poor performance or who is guilty of wrongdoing. It costs an average of $250,000 to fire a teacher in New York City.
  10. With most states granting tenure after three years, teachers have not had the opportunity to “show their worth, or their ineptitude.” Nov. 21, 2008 study by the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education found that the first two to three years of teaching do not predict post-tenure performance.
  11. Tenure at the K-12 level is not earned, but given to nearly everyone. To receive tenure at the university level, professors must show contributions to their fields by publishing research. At the K-12 level, teachers only need to “stick around” for a short period of time to receive tenure. A June 1, 2009 study by the New Teacher Project found that less than one percent of evaluated teachers were rated unsatisfactory.
  12. Tenure is unpopular among educators and the public. An Apr.-May 2011 survey of 2,600 Americans found that 49% oppose teacher tenure while 20% support it. Among teachers, 53% support tenure while 32% oppose it. According to a Sep. 2010 report, 86% of education professors favor “making it easier to terminate unmotivated or incompetent teachers – even if they are tenured.”
  13. Teacher tenure may benefit some teachers, but does nothing to promote the education of children. Former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee said, “Tenure is the holy grail of teacher unions, but it has no educational value for kids; it only benefits adults.”
  14. Teacher tenure requires schools to make long-term spending commitments and prevents districts from being fiscally flexible. Teacher employment contracts generally lack provisions for declining enrollment and economic turmoil.
  15. Public Agenda President Deborah Wadsworth argues that because senior teachers will choose to teach more resource-rich and less challenging populations instead of the classrooms that would benefit the most from experienced teachers, teacher tenure leads to “a distribution of talent that is flawed and inequitable.”
  16. School board presidents believe that teacher tenure makes it more difficult to improve education. In an Oct. 1, 2006 survey, 91% of school board presidents either agreed or strongly agreed that tenure impedes the dismissal of underperforming teachers. 60% also believed that tenure does not promote fair evaluations.

Largely taken from Teacher Tenure Pro/Con (with some creative liberties).


The existing residential lending model is inherently flawed. (If you don’t believe this, save yourself the time and stop reading.) The root cause of the structural issues can be attributed to a number of factors, but can generally be attributable to one primary root cause: the deep chasm between lenders and borrowers.

Some examples of this deep chasm include the following:

  • Loan documents are made overly complicated by lawyers and financial engineers and not clearly explained to borrowers by brokers. There is little incentive for the broker to clearly explain all the terms and point out potential pitfalls.
  • Exotic products and minimal documentation requirements engineered by “Wall Street Wizards” enabled certain borrowers to take out credit inappropriately.
  • Brokers have no long-term vested interest in the lending decision. Quite the contrary –
    “churn and burn”, “rinse and repeat” for maximum margins has been the motto.
  • Banks and lenders are motivated to offload risky loans as quickly as possible.
  • Rating agencies inadequately performed due diligence and are slow to react to market conditions.
  • Investment banks provide vehicles to sell securities to investors without providing adequate transparency.
  • Investors over-relied on Lenders, Investment Banks, and Rating Agencies to manage their risk.

Arguably, the system has been set up in a way to obfuscate accountability and make something fairly simple (i.e., lending) overly complex.

This flawed system has led to unprecedented defaults and a lack of credit availability.


Industry Turmoil Prevails

  • Warehouse lenders have gone out of business creating a scarcity of credit short-term funding to originate new credit.
  • MBS/ABS markets have dried up; their future role in mortgage lending is unclear.
  • The future of quasi governmental agencies (e.g., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) is unclear.
  • Banks “too big to fail” are operating on inadequate servicing fee revenue and lack resources to properly invest in infrastructure to handle default volume.
  • A patchwork of state and local legislation has contributed significantly to the cost/complexity of the national servicers and provides little value on balance to borrowers.


Warehouse Lending

Warehouse lending has dried up as major lenders focus on retrenching their own operations….

Securitization Markets

The level of securitized issuance is significantly lower in most asset classes, creating limited opportunities for banks to deploy funding…


Banking Industry

Only one de novo institution to open its doors in 2010 (organizing groups have been asked to withdraw applications) ….


Banks are closing and/or consolidating….



No “Silver Bullet” In Sight

Attempts to “fix” the residential lending model to date have at best masked some of the symptoms; at worst they have contributed to the further market dysfunction.

  • Governmental programs don’t address the root cause – they only delay the inevitable default of “underwater” borrowers.
  • Modification programs reward non-performing borrowers and encourage arguably encourage non-performance (i.e., performing borrwers strategically default to get a lower interest rate).
  • Regional banks are on the brink of insolvency or have been “managed out” of business by the FDIC further exacerbating the lack of credit.
  • Servicers are not equipped to handle default volumes contributing to delays in providing assistance to borrowers. Strategies to create scalable “Special Servicing” are ill-conceived.
  • Politics prevail – lending fundamentals and “real” transparency (using modern technology) are not on the agenda.

Many modifications delay the inevitable default. Lenders have simply “kicked the can down the road”

Real, material “game changers” are mired in competing agendas and politics. These will take time
and may never materialize (at least in a fully functional way).

In the meantime, borrowers have “negative equity” and are locked into “renting” their homes – pride of ownership is gone; the dream of homeownership has become a nightmare.

It is time to hit the “reset” button on the residential lending model.


Since 1940 (or so) hot dogs have been sold 10 to a pack per the folks at Hot Dog City. It seems to me this has provided ample time for folks to get it right.

Talk about “forest and trees” – six sigma experts will show manufactures of buns how not to waste product and extract efficiencies at every corner, but who is asking them the question – the elephant in the room….

Why are you producing packages of 8 or 12 buns…not 10?

Or maybe its the makers of wieners…they should be making 8 or 12 wieners to a package. Regardless, it seems to me there has been ample time to figure this all out…

That said, no one has pushed this issue with makers of hot dogs and buns.

Remember this is no small affair… Americans eat 350 million pounds of hot dogs each year…the Council estimates Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year…That works out to about 70 hot dogs per person each year.

There is an embedded 20% waste factor if you were to throw away every dog without a corresponding bun…assuming folks eat some on a stand alone basis…you could still assume a waste factor of 5%-10%…this would equate to 7 million dogs wasted each year!

As my son asked, can we not figure this out?

Be sure to take the poll!!!


Formulaic driven salary schedule…this combined with tenure is a disaster!!!!!!!!

One axis is tenure, on the other credits…we pay for tenure and credits…none of which are tied to the outcomes we are looking for – namely, quality teaching….INHERENTLY FLAWED…..


Michael Bloomberg, MBA, Mayor of New York City, was quoted in the Sep. 27, 2010 transcript “Remarks of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at NBC News’ ‘Education Nation’ Summit,” available at schools.nyc.gov:

“We’ll do more to support teachers and reward great teaching – and that includes ending tenure as we know it so that tenure is awarded for performance, not taken for granted.

Teachers and principals are professionals. They deserve to be paid like professionals, treated like professionals, and evaluated like professionals. But for too long, the tenure evaluation process for both principals and teachers has been a formality – a rubber stamp. It used to be that 99.1 percent of teachers received tenure. That’s right, 99.1 percent. But last year, we started using data to make tenure decisions, and the tenure number dropped to 89 percent. For the other 11 percent, they were just not ready to receive a lifetime job protection…

It’s time for us to end the ‘last-in, first out’ layoff policy that puts children at risk here in New York – and across our wonderful country. With more budget cuts looming, principals across the country will have no choice but to make layoffs based only on seniority – so their newest teachers would be the first ones to go, even if they happen to be the best teachers. That makes no sense. Remember our one and only question: is it good for children?”

Sep. 27, 2010 – Michael Bloomberg, MBA



Even a 7 year old can figure out that 10 dogs and 8 buns doesn’t work….

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