I the past few days, Twitter has been a twitter with tweets acclaiming or denouncing Whoopi Goldberg for her comments opposing tenure on “The View.” Ken Previti says that it is not reasonable to criticize Whoopi because she clearly doesn’t know much about what tenure is and why teachers defend it. It is a guarantee of a hearing, of due process, if a boss wants to fire you. Teachers earn tenure over a period of 2, 3, or 4 years. Many teachers don’t have tenure. Unions don’t grant tenure, administrators do.

Are our schools overrun with bad teachers? No. The latest evaluation plans typically find that 95% or more of teachers are effective or highly effective.

Critics of tenure never acknowledge that about 40% of new teachers don’t last more than four or five years. Teaching is a hard job, and tenure is a guarantee that you won’t be fired. For arbitrary or capricious reasons. You get a hearing, where an independent arbitrator considers the evidence. This protects teachers from students who make false accusations, from parents angry that the teacher didn’t raise their child’s grade, from community members who don’t want teachers to mention evolution, climate change, or certain literary classics. Tenure protects teachers from being fired because the district wants to hire cheaper teachers; it protects teachers from being fired to make a job for a city councilman’s daughter; it protects teachers from being fired because of their race, their gender, their sexual orientation, or their looks.

Ken Previti says, don’t blame Whoopi: educate her. Reach out to her on Twitter or Facebook. Help her understand.