2011 Identifying Effective Teachers Policy
The state should require that tenure decisions are based on evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Wyoming does not connect tenure decisions to evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Teachers in Wyoming are awarded tenure automatically after a three-year probationary period, absent an additional process that evaluates cumulative evidence of teacher effectiveness.
Recent legislation articulates that a continuing contract teacher must perform "satisfactorily on performance evaluations implemented by the district." However, because Wyoming's teacher evaluation ratings are not centered primarily on evidence of student learning (see Goal 3-B), basing tenure decisions on these evaluation ratings does not ensure that classroom effectiveness is sufficiently considered.
The Teacher Accountability Act http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2011/Enroll/SF0146.pdf
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.
Wyoming 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.
Wyoming 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.
Wyoming should extend its probationary period, ideally to five years. This would allow for an adequate collection of sufficient data that reflect teacher performance.
Wyoming recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.