Friday, February 3, 2012

Tenure Becoming Thing of the Past

A recent analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality indicates that tenure protections are rapidly being eroded nationally, with several states having essentially nullified tenure entirely, according to the AP.

The primary way in which tenure is being weakened is by linking evaluations, layoffs and pay to student performance. In 2009, for example, no state required student performance to be a part of tenure decisions. Today, eight states do, with four states now requiring evidence that students are learning before awarding tenure.
  • Florida: tenure was essentially made null and void by eliminating tenure-like benefits altogether for new teachers and by making it easier to fire teachers with multiple poor evaluations
  • Rhode Island: New policies make it easier to fire teachers with two years of bad evaluations
  • Idaho: the legislature ended "continuing contracts" for new teachers, essentially terminating tenure, saying that performance, not seniority, would determine layoffs. They also want to include parental input in teacher evaluations. A referendum on the measure may overturn it in November.
  • Colorado and Nevada: both passed recent laws allowing tenure to be taken away after multiple "ineffective" ratings
  • Florida, Indiana and Michigan: recently adopted policies requiring performance to be factored in teacher salaries.
  • Eleven states now require districts to consider teacher performance when deciding who to let go.
  • Anti-Tenure Legislation is Pending or Being Proposed in Missouri, Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey.

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