Increasingly, states are factoring teacher performance into decisions about whether to grant tenure and which teachers to lay off, according toby the Denver-based Education Commission of the States.
Among the report’s findings:
•Sixteen states now require teacher-evaluation data to be used in making decisions about whether to grant tenure, up from 10 since the research group’s last report in 2011.
•Since 2011, Florida, Kansas, and North Carolina have eliminated tenure (continuing employment or due process), or phased it out.
•Seven states return tenured teachers to probationary status if they are rated ineffective: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, and Tennessee.
•Eleven states require districts to make performance a consideration in laying off teachers when budgets get tight or enrollments decline; Georgia, Louisiana, and Maine are the most recent ones to make performance a primary consideration; Washington is expected to add it in 2015-16.
•Ten states prohibit the use of tenure or seniority in making layoff decisions: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia. Only five states had those stipulations in 2012.
The findings suggest that, while the federal Race to the Top program may be slowly winding down, some of the policy changes that the Obama administration launched with the federal initiative, such as its emphasis on teacher performance, may not be.
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2014 edition of Education Week as Study: Teachers Getting More Scrutiny