2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Pennsylvania does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in Pennsylvania are awarded tenure automatically after a three-year probationary period, absent an additional process that evaluates cumulative evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Pennsylvania Public School Code of 1949, Art. XI, 11-1108 (b)(2)
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.
Pennsylvania 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.
Pennsylvania 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.
Require a longer probationary period.
Pennsylvania should extend its probationary period, ideally to five years. This would allow for an adequate collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Pennsylvania recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state added that proposed legislation will require 50 percent of the teacher evaluation to be based on evidence of student progress. Because tenure is associated with three years of a satisfactory teacher evaluation, tenure will be based on student performance.