Teacher Tenure Laws Change in 18 States

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Elementary school students with young teacher
Elementary school students with young teacher. Source: www.shutterstock.com (accessed Aug. 25, 2011)

A new report by the Education Commission of the States finds that 18 state legislatures modified their teacher tenure laws between Jan. and Aug. of 2011.

According to the report, states were more likely to completely rewrite tenure laws instead of making minor changes, and they were more likely to include teacher performance evaluations into tenure legislation.

Tenure has recently faced criticism by politicians such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The report highlights Idaho’s decision to phase out tenure for new teachers entirely. Idaho SB 1108 states, “No new employment contract between a school district and certificated employee shall result in the vesting of tenure, continued expectations of employment or property rights in an employment relationship.”

Source: Kathy Christie and Jennifer Dounay Zinth, “Teacher Tenure or Continuing Contract Laws,” www.ecs.org, Aug. 2011

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