The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Massachusetts could do more to connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
The state articulates a three-year probationary period, after which a teacher is eligible for nonprobationary status. Teachers must achieve ratings of proficient or exemplary on each Performance Standard and on the overall evaluation. A principal considering an employment decision leading to professional teacher status for any educator who does not meet these criteria must confer with the superintendent. The principal's decision is subject to review and approval by the superintendent.
Because Massachusetts's teacher evaluation ratings are not centered primarily on evidence of student learning (see Goal 3-B), basing tenure decisions on these evaluation ratings is a step in the right direction toward ensuring that classroom effectiveness is considered, but it does not ensure it is the preponderant criterion.
Massachusetts General Law Title XII, Ch. 71, Sec. 41, 35.08(6)
Ensure evidence of effectiveness is the preponderant criterion in tenure decisions.
Massachusetts 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.
Require a longer probationary period.
Massachusetts should extend its probationary period, ideally to five years. This would allow for an adequate collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Massachusetts was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for this analysis.