According to the pro-education reform documentary Waiting for ‘Superman,’ one out of every 57 doctors loses his or her license to practice medicine.
One out of every 97 lawyers loses their license to practice law.
In many major cities, only one out of 1000 teachers is fired for performance-related reasons. Why? Tenure.
Tenure is the practice of guaranteeing a teacher their job. Originally, this was a due process guarantee, something intended to work as a check against administrators capriciously firing teachers and replacing them with friends or family members. It was also designed to protect teachers who took political stands the community might disagree with. Tenure as we understand it today was first seen at the university level, where professors would work for years and publish many pieces of inspired academic work before being awarded what amounted to a job for life.
At the elementary and high school level, tenure has evolved from the original understanding of “due process” to the university-style “job for life.” In most states, teachers are awarded tenure after only a few years, at which time they become almost impossible to fire. The main function of these laws is to help bad teachers keep their jobs.