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Chapter Assignment 2&3 Marsha Lueck


Part I (Key Concepts) - Assignment

CH 2

• Identify the most common requirements for certification of prospective teachers.

For teachers to obtain a certification to teach, most states have common requirements for prospective
teachers. A college degree with the minimum credit hours of a particular curricular area, proof of
specific job experience, a specified age(state pending), U.S Citizenship, “good moral character”, good
health, signing the loyalty oath and a minimum score on a test of basic skills.

• Discuss the arguments in favor of requiring teachers to be U.S. citizens and residents of
the employing district.
The arguments in favor of requiring teachers to be U.S citizens and residents of the state is for the
beneficial bounds that the teachers have with the operations of the state as governmental entity. The
critical part that a teacher plays in helping student’s developing an attitude toward government and
accepting the role of citizens in our society. Teachers within the district have a greater personal
knowledge of conditions within the district as well as would pay taxes in the district. This does not
violate the equal protection as to the desire of a district upholds a regulation to keep those teachers
within a community within the district.

• Explain the health and physical requirements to which teachers may be held.

Health and physical requirements are important for teachers to meet for the sole purpose to meet
their contractual obligations as an employee and to protect the health and welfare of the students and
other employees. As far as discrimination of a handicap stated in Section 504, and the teacher is
“otherwise qualified” there is no discrimination. If there is a mental or health issue that arises and it is
not in good standing that they be around others as to contaminate others with a disease or mental
sickness then the requirements are void.

• Evaluate the issues surrounding teacher assessment.

Teacher’s assessments have been required through the No Child Left behind Act, requiring highly
qualified school teachers in schools that receive the Title 1 funds. The tests have brought a few
challenges as they tend to disproportionately disqualify more minorities than non minorities.

• Outline the elements of an employment contract.

Contracts are held by both tenured and untenured teachers. To validate the contract they must have
the basic elements which are, offer and acceptance (by both parties); legally competent parties (only
the schools have the legal authority to contract); consideration ( teacher salary); legal subject matter
and proper form( must be in form required by state statute or regulations).

• Explain the process in obtaining tenure and the legal issues surrounding the major steps
in the process.

Tenure is a right given to teachers by stature; it is not a constitutional right. Teachers usually are
under a specified probation period where they can gain a permanent position within the school district
to teach. This can either be created by the state stature or regulation, if not the school district is
responsible in creating their boundaries. Once a teacher is granted tenure, they have the “property
right” to continue employment and cannot be taken away without the due process.

Tenure usually requires a successful probation period where the teacher completes their probation in
three years. Not always does a successful probation guarantee a teacher for continuation employment.

• Review the major legal challenges to reductions in force.

The legal challenge in force in most cases involves three issues: weather the abolishment of the
position is justified, weather the release of the particular individual is justified and the retention,
callback and reassignment of employees. The reasoning outlined by the school district needs to be
supported and reasonable by justification to support the reductions in force.

• Discuss teachers' rights in relation to collective negotiations.

Collective negotiations control many aspects of the teacher’s employment. School district employees
are to form and join a union, which is protected by the first amendment. Federal courts have ruled out
the right of collective bargaining which is controlled by state labor laws. Some common items that are
negotiated by teacher unions are salary, benefits, hours, and evaluations, leaves of absence, transfers,
grievance procedure and reduction in force.

CH 3

• Distinguish between protected and unprotected speech.

Protected speech is when teachers as citizens have the right to make critical public comments or
opinions on matters concerning the public. That is as long as the public expression does not damage
or cause effectiveness of the relationships of the teacher and coworkers, and of their ability to perform
their duties. Such expression cannot bring the teacher to a dismissal.

• Describe the conditions under which a district may place limits on a teacher's
organizational membership or political activity.

Teachers have the right to engage in political activities and participate in political offices. There is the
place of the school boards that have the right to place restrictions on the exercise of this right.
Teachers can have expression of political issues and candidates in the classroom along with wearing
buttons and badges outside the classroom. There is not the freedom to make campaign speeches
among students in classrooms promoting their own political views. The restrictions are controlled
within the school setting, but not so much in a public setting.

• Discuss the limits that may be placed on a teacher's free exercise of religion.

The right to believe as one chooses is absolute; the rights to act on those beliefs are not. The
teacher’s right to free exercise of religion is a belief that must be balanced against school interest.
Teachers cannot proselyte to students during class or at school activities. Ones views cannot be
pressed upon students, or force them to believe the same in a religious view.

• Outline the teacher's expectations of privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and
seizure in the workplace.

It is generally understood that public teachers have their privacy within their lockers, offices, personal
effect and in their person. All depending on who their filing cabinets, desks and storage is shared with
may not include the personal privacy they would have otherwise if it was their own possessions. The
employer may conduct a search only when there is reasonable suspicion of a work related conduct
with the teacher can they search through their personal area. Searches may be conducted if
permission is given by the individual. If a teacher has something of possession that a student,
employer or co-worker can access they no longer have the expectation of privacy.

• Provide an overview of the circumstances under which the drug testing of teachers is

Drug testing of teachers is once again offered when there is an “individualized reasonable suspicion”
of substance abuse. This usually would involve a concern of student safety.

• Discuss the limits of a teacher's right to refuse to give self-incriminating testimony.

The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from mandatory self-incriminating testimony. This is mainly
seen in court type situations. However when it comes to a disciplinary hearing, does not have the right
to invoke the privilege but would be required to answer the questions to their employment. If the
teacher chooses not to speak then it is a qualified dismissal.

• Explain how the concept of academic freedom applies to questions of who controls the
curriculum and instruction.

Academic freedom is the teacher’s freedom to discuss the subject matter and to make the choice on
what the most important and appropriate instruction would be. The teachers do have limits, such as
selected content or textbooks. This authority belongs to the school board. Teachers may also require
an approval of supplementary materials. Teachers have limited freedom in deciding the content of the
teaching curriculum, but have a greater freedom in choosing the strategies in which they teach the
offered content.

Part II

You be the Judge: Chapter 2

When is writing better than talking


Mr. Williams spoke a little sooner than he had intended, in the heat of a conversation. It was asked of
him to give a written release of contract and the time was not given for him to offer such an
agreement. However the reassignment was put into place just a day after he verbally made his
statement. I don’t think a verbal reassignment should have been enough to end his contract. It was
asked of him to give a written notice, which he decided against.
2. Yes the decision I think would have been different if he was a tenured teacher. He would have had
the ownership of property and of his job. He was still on probation; therefore the measures were not
needed to be addressed as a due process.
3. It is less likely that Mr. Williams will get his job back as the school board is not in contract as the
school board accepted his verbal resignation. Although Mr. William did not give them his verbal
resignation to the school board it was accepted to overlook his desires. One should really watch the
things they say, it may lose one’s job!
You be the Judge: Chapter 3

Three speaks and you are out

1. Public concern for education allows freedom of speech and in this case the two teachers who openly
criticized the superintendents plan to improve student performance was not out of line. If anything he
singled out the two teachers and discriminated their views publicly. If the two teachers brought issues of
the superintendants out to the public then that would have been an offense that would have been
brought within the courts as they challenged the relationship of an employer/co-worker. This was not the
case here; they stood for what they thought was correct in the decision making of a new plan.
2. Some of the school decisions that would not raise the levels of issues of public concern would be the
personal attacks of administrators, board members or other teachers. Complaints relating to individual
personal actions would be another personal level no-no. Otherwise comments on instructional methods,
curriculum, and general issues of management and policy are acceptable. Many educators are parents as
well and they as parents have the right to view and sustain their personal views publicly as that role. Just
because one is an educator, they do not always see eye to eye with a proposed idea.
3. Teachers can make their views known on important educational issues through public school board

Part III

Nevada Application (Chapter 2)

Please access the CCSD website at: ccsd.net/employees/

Answer the following questions:

• What are the starting salaries for teachers with a Bachelor's degree?
• What other benefits are available for teachers?
• Is there an alternative to standard/licensure certification in Nevada?
• How long is the typical training period for the ARL?
• Does Nevada have license reciprocity with other states?

Nevada State Department of Education

Please access the NDE website att: www.doe.nv.gov/index.html)

Answer the following questions:

• Is there an alternative to standard/licensure certification in Nevada?

• How long is the probationary period?

Nevada Application (Chapter 3)

Please access the CCSD website at: http://ccsd.net/

Search and locate the CCSD Policy on Controversial Issues

Review CCSD's policy on Controversial Issues, and then respond to the following:

• Identify and discuss a specific issue that this policy may address.
• Does this policy provide enough information as to how teachers can express themselves in the
classroom on controversial issues? If you believe the policy does provide enough information, explain
why. If you do not believe this policy provides enough information, what should be included, or what
needs to be clarified?