Tenure

Identifying Effective Teachers Policy

Tenure

The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.

Best practices

Michigan has increased its probationary period to five years and requires that evidence of effectiveness be the primary criterion in awarding tenure.

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Tenure national results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/national/Tenure--8
Best practice 1

State

Meets goal 2

States

Nearly meets goal 5

States

Meets goal in part 3

States

Meets a small part of goal 9

States

Does not meet goal 31

States

Research rationale

Numerous studies illustrate how difficult and uncommon the process is of dismissing tenured teachers for poor performance. These studies underscore the need for an extended probationary period that would allow teachers to demonstrate their capability to promote student performance.

For evidence on the potential of eliminating automatic tenure, articulating a process for granting tenure, and using evidence of effectiveness as criteria for tenure see D. Goldhaber and M. Hansen, "Assuming the Potential of Using Value-Added Estimates of Teacher Job Performance for Making Tenure Decisions." Center for Reinventing Public Education. (2009).  Goldhaber and Hansen conclude that if districts ensured that the bottom performing 25 percent of all teachers up for tenure each year did not earn it, approximately 13 percent more than current levels, student achievement could be significantly improved. By routinely denying tenure to the bottom 25 percent of eligible teachers, the impact on student achievement would be equivalent to reducing class size across-the-board by 5 students a class.

For additional evidence see Robert Gordon, et al., "Identifying Effective Teachers Using Performance on the Job," Hamilton Project Discussion Paper, Brookings Institute, March 2006.

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