Federal Report Roundup

Teacher Tenure

By Vaishali Honawar — December 09, 2008 1 min read

A report from a Washington-based think tank criticizes teacher-tenure policies for, it says, keeping effective teachers out of the most disadvantaged schools.

Issued by the Center for American Progress, the report calls on policymakers to reconsider whether tenure is working in students’ best interests.

The authors say that in most districts, tenure is not a rigorous bar for teachers to clear. Because tenure status is unrelated to classroom performance, the authors argue, a gross mismatch exists between the costs of granting a teacher tenure and the level of seriousness that goes into that decision.

Over the past two decades, states such as Connecticut, Michigan, and South Dakota have tinkered with tenure policies, increased probationary periods, and streamlined due-process procedures. Others, including Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah, have replaced tenure with renewable contracts, the report says.

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A version of this article appeared in the December 10, 2008 edition of Education Week

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