“I Couldn’t Believe It Happened to Me”

Most teachers are likely to go through their entire career without being unfairly targeted for dismissal by administrators. But that shouldn’t be left to chance.

For example, what if this happened to you?

You’re a high school teacher. You work out with your students a rubric for grading a small-group project. One group, unfortunately, really blows this project off. According to the rubric, they deserve a D, which you deliver. Parents complain to the principal. He tells you to raise the grade. You say, no, and you point out that the students took part in designing the rubric that guided you in giving them the D.

Do you lose your job?

That can depend on whether you have a strong and enforceable due-process system for dismissal, generally called “tenure” but often misinterpreted as a guaranteed job.

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