Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Commendably, Florida has discontinued its policy of automatic tenure. The state now bases the leap in professional standing from probationary to nonprobationary status on evidence of classroom effectiveness.
To be awarded an annual contract (nonprobationary status), a probationary teacher must not have received any of the following evaluation ratings: two consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory, two annual performance evaluation ratings of unsatisfactory within a three-year period, or three consecutive annual performance evaluation ratings of needs improvement or a combination of needs improvement and unsatisfactory. Further, a district is prohibited from renewing an annual contract if a nonprobationary teacher receives any of the above evaluation ratings.
Because Florida's teacher evaluation ratings are centered primarily on evidence of student learning (see Goal 3-B), basing tenure decisions on these evaluation ratings ensures that classroom effectiveness is appropriately considered.
Further, because all teachers are awarded an annual contract regardless of probationary status, Florida has essentially eliminated tenure.
SB 736, amending Florida Statute 1012.34
Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.