Fewer New York City teachers receiving tenure status under new reform law

Aug 29, 2013 by

NEW YORK – The U.S. Marines use the slogan “Earned, never given” to explain their unique, merit-based culture to civilians.

If that phrase isn’t trademarked, New York school officials might want to start using it to describe their new approach to bestowing teachers with tenure.

WNYC.org reports that just 53 percent of New York City’s teachers who were eligible for tenure in the 2012-13 school year actually received the near iron-clad job protection.

That’s down 2 percent from last year, and down an astonishing 44 percent from 2006-07, the year before the state revamped the tenure process.


Under the new law, principals have to provide a variety of data and evidence in support of each teacher they recommend for tenure, after the educator has served a probationary period. The final decision about whether or not to grant tenure rests with the district superintendent, reports WNYC.org.

“If you turned back the clock, tenure was an automatic right and not something earned,” said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott in a written statement. “But that’s changed. We expect more of our teachers as we raise the bar for students like never before.”

So what happened to the other 47 percent of eligible teachers who were not granted tenure?

Forty-four percent “were granted an extension on their tenure decision” and have returned to the classroom, the news site reports. The other 3 percent were denied tenure outright and were (presumably) fired.

This judicious approach to handing out tenure means New York City schools won’t be stuck with as many incompetent and ineffective teachers in the future.

That’s good news.

But reform efforts shouldn’t end there. The next logical step is to change how the teacher colleges select and train the next generation of educators. If colleges and universities begin churning out better, more effective teachers, then school leaders’ tenure-induced headaches will largely go away.

Just think what a refreshing change that would be.

Fewer New York City teachers receiving tenure status under new reform law – EAGnews.org powered by Education Action Group Foundation, Inc..

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