2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
North Carolina does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in North Carolina are awarded tenure after a four-year probationary period.
Teachers must have a minimum "proficient" rating on all five North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards on their annual evaluations in order to be recommended for tenure. The state does not require a "proficient" rating on the sixth standard, which pertains to student growth. Because North Carolina's teacher evaluation ratings are not centered primarily on evidence of student learning (see Goal 3-B), basing tenure decisions on these evaluation ratings does not ensure that classroom effectiveness is sufficiently considered.
North Carolina Statute 115C-325(c)(1) North Carolina State Board of Education Policy TCP-C-004
Ensure evidence of effectiveness is the preponderant criterion in tenure decisions.
North Carolina 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.
North Carolina 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.
North Carolina should make certain its probationary period allows for a collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
North Carolina recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that during the 2011-2012 school year, it will adopt policies defining "effective" and "highly effective" teachers. Tenure decisions will then be linked to effectiveness as demonstrated by student growth and ratings on the other five standards in the teacher evaluation instrument.
North Carolina is encouraged not only to "link" tenure decisions to student growth, but also to ensure that teacher effectiveness is the most significant criterion. NCTQ looks forward to reviewing the state's progress in future editions of the Yearbook.