Retaining Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness. This goal remains unchanged in 2021.
Link to evidence of effectiveness: North Carolina does not offer tenure status to new teachers. Teachers employed for fewer than three years are given one-year contracts. A contract between a district and a teacher who has been employed for three years or more must be for a term of one, two or four years. A teacher can only be recommended for a contract term of more than one year if the teacher has "shown effectiveness as demonstrated by proficiency on the evaluation instrument."
Basis for tenure: Not applicable
North Carolina General Statutes 115C-325.3
Ensure that evidence of effectiveness is the determinative factor in contract decisions.
North Carolina should make cumulative evidence of effectiveness, rather than number of years in the classroom, the most significant factor when awarding a four-year contract.
North Carolina did not respond to NCTQ's request to review this analysis for accuracy.
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.