I'm all for getting rid of some of what I call "undue process" in firing truly bad teachers, but I see some baby going out the window with the bath water here. Irascible Professor writes, in part:
While the IP supports the part of the initiative that would extend the probationary period, there are two features of the initiative that are troubling enough to cause him to recommend a "no" vote. The first is that the five-year probationary period would apply to all probationary teachers whose "probationary period commenced with the 2003-2004 fiscal year or any fiscal year thereafter." This means that probationary teachers who already have been hired with the understanding that the two-year probationary period applies to them would be affected by the new law. There is something distasteful about changing the rules in the middle of the game, and the law -- if approved by the voters -- should only apply to those hired after the date the law goes into effect.
More troubling is the section of the initiative that would allow school boards to ignore sections 44934 and 44938 of the California education code when dismissing tenured teachers for unsatisfactory performance. The first of these sections ensures that the teacher is given an adequate notice that outlines the specifics that resulted in the unsatisfactory performance evaluation. The second section gives the teacher the opportunity to correct his or her deficiencies.If the probationary period for tenure is extended to five years, then the tenured teacher should be presumed competent unless a good case can be made for the contrary conclusion. Dismissals of tenured teachers should be made only for good cause, and only after due process. The changes proposed in the initiative would make it too easy for vindictive administrators to dismiss tenured teachers for reasons other than genuinely unsatisfactory performance.
Gotta vote "no" on this one.