2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Kentucky does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in Kentucky are awarded tenure automatically after a four-year probationary period, absent an additional process that evaluates cumulative evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Kentucky Revised Statute XIII 161.740(1)(b)
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.
Kentucky 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.
Kentucky 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.
Ensure the probationary period is adequate.
Kentucky's probationary period is longer than that of most other states. However, the state should make certain that it allows for a collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Kentucky asserted that its current evaluation system does not accurately measure teacher effectiveness, so personnel decisions are not based on teacher effectiveness. The state added that earning tenure is not automatic after four years. Teachers are awarded tenure when they are employed for a fifth year out of six years in the same school district. A decision to employ a teacher for that fifth year has to be made.
The awarding of tenure is automatic in Kentucky because teachers arguably achieve that milestone just by working in the same district for five out of six years. The state fails to articulate a process that would ensure a local district reviews a teacher's cumulative performance before making such an important determination.