Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness. This goal was reorganized in 2017.
Link to Evidence of Effectiveness: Kansas has eliminated tenure for all teachers. The state repealed the law that gave teachers who faced dismissal after three years in the classroom the right to an independent review of their cases.
Basis for Tenure: Not applicable
Kansas Statute 72-5445
Ensure that evidence of effectiveness is the determinative factor in tenure decisions.
Kansas should make cumulative evidence of effectiveness the most significant factor in determining whether a teacher remains in the classroom. Although the state has effectively eliminated tenure by eliminating due process rights, this policy appears disconnected from teacher effectiveness.
Kansas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
Tenure should be a significant and consequential milestone in a teacher's career. The decision to give teachers tenure (or permanent status) is usually made automatically, with little thought, deliberation or consideration of actual performance. State policy should reflect the fact that initial certification is temporary and probationary, and that tenure is intended to be a significant reward for teachers who have consistently shown effectiveness and commitment. Tenure and advanced certification are not rights implied by the conferring of an initial teaching certificate. No other profession, including higher education, offers practitioners tenure after only a few years of working in the field.
States should also ensure that evidence of effectiveness is the preponderant (but not the only) criterion for making tenure decisions. Most states confer tenure at a point that is too early for the collection of sufficient and adequate data that reflect teacher performance. Ideally, states would accumulate such data for four to five years. This robust data set would prevent effective teachers from being unfairly denied tenure based on too little data and ineffective teachers from being granted tenure.