The state should articulate that ineffective classroom performance is grounds for dismissal and ensure that the process for terminating ineffective teachers is expedient and fair to all parties.
Utah does not address the appeal process for teachers who are terminated for poor performance; local boards set the policy for dismissal.
Specify that classroom ineffectiveness is grounds for dismissal.
Utah should articulate policy that explicitly makes teacher ineffectiveness grounds for dismissal so that districts do not feel they lack the legal basis for terminating consistently poor performers.
Ensure that teachers terminated for poor performance have the opportunity to appeal within a reasonable time frame.
Nonprobationary teachers who are dismissed for any grounds, including ineffectiveness, are entitled to due process. However, cases that drag on for years drain resources from school districts and create a disincentive for districts to attempt to terminate poor performers. Therefore, Utah should articulate policy that provides tenured teachers the opportunity to appeal district decisions to terminate their contracts. Such an appeal should only be allowed to take place once and only at the district level. It is in the best interest of both the teacher and the district that a conclusion be reached within a reasonable time frame.
Utah recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.