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ERIC Number: ED539993
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 30
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Teacher Tenure Reform: Applying Lessons from the Civil Service and Higher Education. Building an Opportunity Culture for America's Teachers
Hassel, Emily Ayscue; Kowal, Julie; Ableidinger, Joe; Hassel, Bryan C.
Public Impact
Teacher tenure was designed in the early 1900s as a set of procedural protections against unfair and arbitrary dismissals. But today, concerns about the effect on student outcomes--along with budgetary constraints--dominate education reform discussions. As a result, leaders in a handful of states and districts have begun making changes to align their tenure systems with their goal of increasing student learning. Common changes include streamlining tenure protections and increasing the rigor of the tenure-granting process. Parallel efforts to improve the quality, accuracy, and rigor of educator evaluations have strengthened the basis for personnel decisions based on performance, and have fueled increased interest in tenure reform. As education leaders move from questions of "whether" to reform tenure to "how," they will need better information about how tenure design can best help students succeed. This paper examines two other sectors that have a long history with tenure--the civil service and higher education. In the civil service, tenure-like job protections apply to nonpolitical positions in both state and federal governments. At colleges and universities, people in many faculty positions can receive tenure. Here, the authors examine the purposes of tenure and the tenure design elements in both of these settings and explore how they help or hinder an organization's goals. Based on these lessons, and in light of today's imperative for better student learning, the authors then offer a set of reform options for K-12 education leaders who are committed to changing tenure systems to improve student results. The two major paths are reforming tenure and eliminating tenure while adding enticements attractive to effective teachers. The authors discuss the elements of tenure design: the time before tenure is considered; the criteria for obtaining tenure; the tenure process; the protections that tenure provides; and the strength of other career advancement and reward opportunities for better teachers. (Contains 1 figure, 3 tables, 1 footnote, and 94 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Public Impact