Delaying Teacher Tenure
July 27th, 2011
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long criticized the almost automatic granting of lifetime tenure to teachers in the New York City school system. Today he announced results of his efforts to change tenure as we know it -– and, while there are significant changes, the effort falls a bit short of a revolution.
Using what the city calls a “new framework for measuring teacher effectiveness” instituted in December, principals approved fewer teachers for tenure this year — 58 percent of 5,209 teachers as opposed to 97 percent of those eligible in 2006-7. Looking at the figures, it seems apparent that many teachers who might previously have gotten tenure after three years, saw their decisions delayed. Thirty-nine percent of the teachers fell into that category, compared with 2 percent in 2007. While the number of those denied increased, it remains small: 3 percent this year, as opposed to 1 percent four years ago.
Bloomberg expressed pleasure with the results, saying in a prepared statement, “Making tenure an earned distinction rather than an automatic right will help our teachers get better and ensure that more of them can develop into not just good but great teachers. That’s what our kids deserve and our parents expect.”
All teachers are eligible for tenure review after three years.
Under the new system, principals evaluate teachers based on classroom observation, student work, test scores, student attendance and feedback from students and parents. They receive ratings on a four-point scale in three categories: teacher practice, student learning and contributions to the school community. To get tenure, the teacher must score at the top two levels – effective or highly effective – in all three areas for two consecutive years.By Gail Robinson on July 27, 2011, 12:57 pm
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