Seizing on a national anxiety over poor student performance, many governors are taking aim at a bedrock tradition of public schools: teacher tenure, reports the New York Times. The momentum began over a year ago with President Obama’s call to measure and reward effective teaching, a challenge he repeated in last week’s State of the Union address. Now several Republican governors have concluded that removing ineffective teachers requires undoing the century-old protections of tenure. Governors in Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Nevada and New Jersey have called for the elimination or dismantling of tenure. As state legislatures convene this winter, anti-tenure bills are being written in those states and others. Their chances of passing have risen because of crushing state budget deficits that have put teachers’ unions on the defensive…

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staff and wire services reports