Two parents with children in New York public schools are suing the state because they say their children have been damaged by bad teachers.
The parents wrote an editorial in the New York Daily News, explaining why they are suing to overhaul the tenure system for teachers. One of them lives in Rochester, the other lives in Brooklyn.
Here is an excerpt of their letter:
"We send our children to New York's public schools each day with more than big backpacks and bigger dreams about their future. They also carry with them a set of rights:
- The right to know their teacher will not sleep through class.
- The right to feel they will not be ridiculed for asking for help.
- The right to not have weeks go by without so much as a single page of homework.
We offer those examples because they have actually happened to our own children in recent years - and are happening now to children across our state. And they are destructive.
Our students have no unions. Who is going to stand up for their rights? We are."
The parents are two of seven families challenging the state in court over tenure for teachers. It is a system, they say, that puts the interest of adults above that of the students. "Our children have been intimidated by teachers for expressing opinions," the parents wrote. "They have seen their teacher fall asleep in a rocking chair at the front of the class. They have been called losers. They have been taught to have low expectations. At times, they have lost motivation."
The parents say they know this behavior does not represent most teachers. "But it only takes one in one year of a child's life to do damage," they say.
They are encouraging other parents to join in their cause to overhaul the tenure system. Do you support their effort? Why or why not? What changes would you like to see in your child's school? Leave your thoughts below.