A majority of charges against tenured teachers filed by school boards in New Jersey since a new law took effect have been upheld by state arbitrators assigned to hear them.
But in almost a third of the cases, the arbitrators said the employee should not be fired, and charges were downgraded to a suspension rather than termination. Both education and union officials say the new system has expedited the process while still protecting teachers.
The new procedures are part of the TEACHNJ measure signed into law in August 2012. The process extends the time period for teachers to earn tenure and sets a strict timeline for the tenure-charge process.
Most cases so far have been for conduct unbecoming a teacher, and the real test will come when there are cases based on results of the new teacher-evaluation system.
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2014 edition of Education Week as Both Sides Say Tenure Law Working in New Jersey