Unfairly Fired Teachers Deserve Court Protection
We believe that thousands of American teachers will lose their jobs in the next few years because of the recently designed, more demanding evaluation systems now found in most of our states. These new teacher-evaluation procedures were triggered by a pair of federal initiatives that mark a sea change in job security for the nation’s teachers.
Most U.S. teachers, however, don’t seem too worried about these looming dismissals because they believe that teachers who are fired as a result of unsound evaluation systems can readily get those dismissals reversed in court. But they’re mistaken.
In the Obama administration’s 2009 Race to the Top initiative and in the subsequent No Child Left Behind waiver program allowing states to avoid federal sanctions under the NCLB law, state education authorities were urged to establish more-rigorous teacher-evaluation programs. These new evaluation systems were to be based on multiple kinds of evidence, such as classroom observations and administrators’ ratings, but would also need to include students’ test scores...
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