NEW YORK (WCBS 880/1010 WINS) – With New York City facing the possibility of cutting 15,000 teacher positions, the question of seniority and the tenure system in the school system is being raised.

One labor expert told WCBS 880 Reporter Ginny Kosola that getting rid of the seniority and tenure system would lead to a whole new set of problems.

Tenure: Should It Stay Or Go? Comment Below

WCBS 880 Reporter Ginny Kosola talks with a labor expert who explains its purpose.

1010 WINS Reporter Glenn Schuck gets comments from Mayor Bloomberg on the teacher layoffs.

Sally Klingel, labor management expert at the Scheinman Institute at Cornell University, said the system was developed to keep politics out of education. Klingel warns without it, political cronies could control teaching jobs.

“Tenure was put in place to give teachers the opportunity for due process and to prevent patronage or favoritism,” said Klingel.

It used to take years for a teacher to get a hearing, former Chancellor Harold Levy was the first to start work on streamlining the process.

Teachers who need help must be identified, mentored if it’s appropriate and removed from the system if it’s not, said Klingel.

New York’s review process is bogged down, said Klingel, and other districts have switched to a peer-review system.

“They have master teachers who go out to sit in on classrooms and identify people who need performance improvement,” said Klingel.

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