I recently met an early career NJEA member who had this to say about tenure:
"My friends in the public sector talk about tenure sometimes, and they usually say we shouldn't have it -- largely because they don't have it. So, I educate them by comparing my job to a McDonald's employee. I tell them that, for example, when a McDonald's employee is let go, it's because he or she made a mistake or his or her work was unsatisfactory. A public school employee can be let go 'just because.' Also, when McDonald's employees arrive to work, they have everything they need to do their jobs, and their jobs are clearly explained to them. Public employees do not have this. We spend hundreds of dollars every year on school supplies for our students. My administrator admitted to me that she did not understand NJ's new evaluation system, had not received any training on it from the State BOE, and she was basing my rating on the fact that, 'I'm not allowed to give any teacher a '4' in this category because the superintendent says so.' Imagine a McDonald's employee showing up for work and being told there are not fries, and they would have to buy them on their own. Then, they are told to go cook burgers when they haven't been shown how to. This is what teachers go through, and it's why tenure is important."
Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association