I can tell you exactly why teachers need tenure. Without this protection, they will fear honestly and accurately evaluating their students. If teachers have no tenure, students and their parents can pressure schools to fire "underperforming" teachers -- defined as those who give Cs and Ds.Parents want false, flattering grades on their children's report cards--goes the meme--and are capable of placing enormous pressure upon educators to get such grades. The only means of responding to this challenge is to grant tenure to teachers.
Next to go is the academic curriculum, in favor of flavor-of-the-month job training and test prep, for the vast majority. Only a small elite will be offered a real education.I don't see any evidence to suggest that consumers demand an end to real education.
No teacher who can be fired for supporting unpopular views or taking unpopular positions will bother to do so -- and these include the view that you need pure algebra, foreign language study, and great novels, as well as the view that you should work hard for an A. In the end, teachers will become cynics, making whatever noises they need to make to stay on their bosses' good side.
I also wonder why you believe that those who want to preserve tenure should have the burden of proof. Anyone can ridicule the reasons that are offered and imagine they have made their argument. It seems to me that if you desire to do away with tenure, you need to make an affirmative showing that it should be ended. How do you imagine that ending it would be beneficial? There is some reason that highly competent people with a gift for teaching are reluctant to enter the profession, and many wonder whether teaching is still a profession at all. Aren't you concerned about why that has been happening, for decades now? Aren't you concerned that you are proposing to make teaching even less attractive to the best candidates?Applying similar logic to my own current job: Mail handlers will forever be tempted to provide faster delivery to packages mailed by their friends. Postal carriers will be tempted to drive circuitously, tempted by bribes offered by petrol sellers; the only solution to such endemic problems is to grant postal workers tenure, making it very difficult to fire them.
Are you finding Sonja's logic persuasive, gentle reader?
Policies that cost money should have the burden of proof, Sonja. When an employer removes 'firing' from her motivational quiver--in exchange for nothing--that costs money. You have been asked to provide some good reason in defense of this costly, incompetence-protecting policy and you have failed.