The state should articulate that ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal and ensure that the process for terminating ineffective teachers is expedient and fair to all parties.
Hawaii's evaluation system makes an overall unsatisfactory performance rating grounds for dismissal.
In addition, after receiving notice of dismissal following an unsatisfactory evaluation, the teacher has 20 days to file a grievance with the Superintendent, and a meeting between the Superintendent and the teacher must be held within five days thereafter. A decision regarding the grievance is delivered to the teacher within five days of the meeting. The teacher may then file an appeal with a Performance Judge within ten days of the grievance decision, and such judge must be selected within 20 days. While the Performance Judge has 30 days to issue a decision following the conclusion of the hearing, no time frame is specified for the hearing. The decision of the Performance Judge is final and binding.
Agreement Between the Hawaii State Teachers Association and the State of Hawaii Board of Education, July 1, 2009-June 30, 2011. Hawaii Professional Evaluation Program for Teachers (PEP-T): Manual for Evaluators and Participants
Ensure that the appeal process occurs within a reasonable time frame.
Hawaii is commended for making unsatisfactory performance ratings grounds for dismissal. Whether or not the state considers "internal reviews" or "meetings" to be appeals, multiple opportunities to review a decision to terminate a teacher delays the process, possibly creating a disincentive to attempt to terminate poor performers. The state is encouraged to establish more time-sensitive parameters for its appeal process, as it is in the best interest of both the teacher and the school system that a conclusion be reached within a reasonable time frame.
Hawaii was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state asserted that a tenured teacher is afforded several opportunities for internal review before the Superintendent makes a decision to terminate. Only then can the teacher file a grievance and the provisions of the Performance Judge procedures are followed in resolving the dispute as articulated in Article VIII.P.