View Full Version : All NYC New Guidelines Make Teacher Tenure Less Automatic in New York City

12-14-2010, 08:37 AM
This from the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/nyregion/14tenure.html) by Fernanda Santos:
In most schools across the country, tenure is not something to be gained, but something to be lost. Virtually every new teacher earns it, including in New York City, where all a principal has had to do to give a teacher guaranteed lifetime employment is to check a box on a computer program.

No longer. Under guidelines released Monday, principals are directed to base their decisions on an elaborate system that measures teachers’ success in and outside the classroom, including student performance on standardized tests. The principals then have to explain their recommendation in three paragraphs.

The goal, education officials said, is to change the longstanding culture in which tenure is virtually automatic, a default next step after a teacher’s first three years on the job.

“The current system of awarding tenure devalues great teachers by treating teachers as if they are widgets on an assembly line,” said John White, a deputy chancellor for strategy. “If we’re going to professionalize teaching, we have to reward teachers, evaluate teachers and develop teachers like the 21st-century professionals that they are.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the broad outlines of the tenure plan last year. The guidelines released on Monday provided more specifics on how tenure decisions should be made.

Chancellor Joel I. Klein, who is leaving his job at the end of the month, has railed against the current system of tenure almost since the day he took office in 2002, saying it is a roadblock to creating a meritocracy among schoolteachers. He has fought with the teachers’ union to make it easier to fire tenured teachers, to little effect. The new chancellor, Cathleen P. Black, has already signaled that tenure will remain one of the Education Department’s targets.

But even as the chancellor encouraged principals to be pickier about tenure, a vast majority of teachers still are receiving it.

In the school year that ended in June, out of the nearly 6,400 teachers who were eligible for tenure, 234 teachers were denied it, or roughly 3.7 percent, according to the Department of Education. Still, that was far more than four years earlier, when denials amounted to just 0.4 percent.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/nyregion/14tenure.html)