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New York City has slashed the number of public-school instructors receiving tenure this year–part of an effort to link teacher advancement to student performance, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. Of the more than 5,200 teachers who received decisions this year, 58 percent were granted tenure, down from 89 percent last year and 94 percent the year before that……Read More
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……Read More
A judge on Friday approved a sweeping overhaul of how teachers are laid off in what education reformers hail as a landmark decision to keep more effective instructors in the classroom, but unions denounce as a step toward dismantling tenure policies, the Associated Press reports. The decision was the outcome of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in February, charging that inner-city students’ right to a quality education was being violated by a last-hired, first-fired layoff policy.
“This is a historic decision for the state of California,” said John Deasy, deputy superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District. “The court stood and lifted up the voice of youth. That voice was loud and clear.”
The ruling by Superior Court Judge William Highberger approved a settlement between the ACLU, the state and LAUSD in which the district agreed to shield 45 of its lowest performing schools from layoffs and to ensure that the redistribution of those layoffs will not be sent to a school that will experience greater than the district average of layoffs for that year……Read More
No more free passes. The city Department of Education changed its tenure policy yesterday with new rules designed to weed out its bad teachers and reward its best ones with jobs for life, reports the New York Post. After years of rubber-stamp approvals, principals will now make tenure recommendations based on such performance benchmarks as classroom preparation and student feedback.
“We can’t afford to squander the highest honor we can bestow–of guaranteed lifetime employment–on those not worthy,” said Deputy Chancellor Eric Nadelstern.
The changes–and the comments that accompanied them–drew a quick rebuttal from the city’s teachers union, which accused the department of ignoring real problems.…Read More