2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Arkansas does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in Arkansas are awarded tenure automatically after a three-year probationary period, absent an additional process that evaluates cumulative evidence of teacher effectiveness. An employing school district may, by a majority vote of its directors, provide for an additional year of probationary status.
Arkansas Code 6-17-1502 and 6-17-301(a)
End the automatic awarding of tenure.
The decision to grant tenure should be a deliberate one, based on consideration of a teacher's commitment and actual evidence of classroom effectiveness.
Ensure evidence of effectiveness is the preponderant criterion in tenure decisions.
Arkansas should make evidence of effectiveness, rather than the number of years in the classroom, the most significant factor when determining this leap in professional standing.
Articulate a process that local districts must administer when deciding which teachers get tenure.
Arkansas should require a clear process, such as a hearing, to ensure that the local district reviews a teacher's performance before making a determination regarding tenure.
Require a longer probationary period.
Arkansas should extend its probationary period, ideally to five years. This would allow for an adequate collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Arkansas asserted that it is not a tenure state. After three years, teachers are considered veteran teachers. However, there is no such status as tenure.
For the purposes of this goal, the term "tenure" refers to the point at which a teacher is granted nonprobationary status.