2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Washington does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in Washington are awarded tenure automatically after a three-year probationary period, absent an additional process that evaluates cumulative evidence of teacher effectiveness.
S.B. 6696-S2.SL, sec. 203 Revised Code of Washington 28A.405.220
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.
Washington 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.
Washington 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.
Washington should extend its probationary period, ideally to five years. This would allow for an adequate collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Washington asserted that it does not grant tenure "automatically." The state added that evaluations of teachers on probation are conducted annually, and ineffective teachers can be—and are—dismissed using a relatively simple and straightforward process.
Washington should require that districts have a meaningful process to use when considering whether a teacher advances from probationary to nonprobationary status. The decision to grant tenure in the state is not based on the cumulative consideration of a teacher's performance and actual evidence of classroom effectiveness.