Jan 26

Teacher Tenure/Continuing Contracts

The long held belief that teachers can have permanent positions through tenure has begun to fade with new accountabilites. In a recent article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2012/jan/25/tdnat01-states-weaken-teacher-tenure-rights-ar-1637129/ , the reality of accountability that is tied into funding and jobs has brought a new paradigm to educators.  The shift now for educators’ job security is being driven by the reality of evaluations based on satisfactory performance and layoffs/removal based on performance rather than seniority.

Several states now require student performance to be the central factor to determine whether a teacher is awarded tenure and others want evidence that students are learning before awarding tenure. Building administrators more than ever will need to spend much more time in an already crowded daily schedule with  observations, documentation and follow up conferences.  Add assitance for struggling teachers to the mix, and school administator’s jobs will have extra layers added on.  In Virginia, pending legislation from HB576 (see the January 21 blog post) would bring about significant changes in continuing contract status for teachers and increase the amount of time in classrooms for classroom observations, conferences and assistance if needed.