Article Comment 

Council finds a growing number of states move to weaken teacher tenure

 

The Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON -- America's public school teachers are seeing their generations-old tenure protections weakened as states seek flexibility to fire teachers who aren't performing. A few states have essentially nullified tenure protections altogether, according to an analysis being released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality. 

 

The changes are occurring as states replace virtually automatic "satisfactory" teacher evaluations with those linked to teacher performance and base teacher layoffs on performance instead of seniority. Politically powerful teachers' unions are fighting back, arguing the changes lower morale, deny teachers due process, and unfairly target older teachers. 

 

The debate is so intense that in Idaho, for example, state superintendent Tom Luna's truck was spray painted and its tires slashed. An opponent appeared at his mother's house and he was interrupted during a live TV interview by an agitated man. Why? The Idaho legislature last year ended "continuing contracts" -- essentially equivalent to tenure -- for new teachers and said performance, not seniority, would determine layoffs. Other changes include up to $8,000 in annual bonuses given to teachers for good performance, and parent input on evaluations. Opponents gathered enough signatures to put a referendum that would overturn the changes on the November ballot. 

 

Luna says good teachers shouldn't be worried. 

 

"We had a system where it was almost impossible to financially reward great teachers and very difficult to deal with ineffective teachers. If you want an education system that truly puts students first, you have to have both," Luna said. 

 

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

 

printer friendly version | back to top

 

 

 

Most Viewed News Stories

 

1. 3 die in Lowndes County crash COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

2. No-jangles: Starkville Bojangles closes STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY

3. Hickman begins his first day as Columbus schools superintendent COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

4. Jurors hear 911 tape as Quinn murder trial begins STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY

5. Photo: No fuel, no rocket COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY

 

More popular content      Suggest a story

 

 

Follow Us:

Follow Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

Follow Us via Instagram

Follow Us via Email