Randy, although you clearly had concerns about one college professor, it's important not to compare apples and oranges. At the university level, tenure really does protect a professor's career. At the K-12 level, tenure is simply the right to respond when a teacher believes he's been unjustly accused. That's all it is -- a voice. The union will do what it can to support a teacher with high potential who is clearly working toward improved performance, but it absolutely will not "protect the bad ones". This is largely a self-weeding population to begin with, since nearly half of all new teachers quickly realize the difficulty of the work and choose to leave the profession within the first five years. We wind up with very few "bad teachers" after that! If one slips through, however, it's because the building administrator decided that teacher was effective, not because the union did.