2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Texas does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in Texas are awarded tenure automatically after a three-year probationary period, absent an additional process that evaluates cumulative evidence of teacher effectiveness. "A probationary contract may not be for a term exceeding one school year. The probationary contract may be renewed for two additional one-year periods, for a maximum permissible probationary contract period of three school years." This period may be extended by the local board to four years, if it determines that it is doubtful whether the teacher should be given a continuing contract.
Texas Education Code 21.102 and 21.153
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.
Texas 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.
Texas 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.
Texas should extend its probationary period, ideally to five years. This would allow for an adequate collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Texas recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.