Principals in Providence will be able to hire teachers based on their qualifications, instead of letting senior teachers “bump” those with less time on the job.
Education Commissioner Peter McWalters, who ordered the change, says he has the power to intervene in a chronically under-performing school district. He wants to build a common school culture by giving principals the “authority to select teachers who not only agree with the school’s mission but are best suited to the needs of those particular students.”
The teachers’ union hasn’t decided whether to fight the order.
Several states are considering delaying tenure for teachers, reports Teacher Beat.
In Ohio, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland wants to grant teachers tenure after nine years, rather than the current three. . . . It would also allow tenured teachers to be dismissed for “just cause.” Currently, teachers can only be dismissed for “gross immorality” or “inefficiency.”
. . . In Florida, Republican legislators are preparing to submit legislation to give teachers annual contracts for their first 10 years in the classroom and then contracts of no more than five years after that. Essentially, that plan would make teachers at-will employees for their first 10 years.
. . . And, of course, there’s D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s proposal to push tenure-granting back from two to four years and require current teachers to forgo it for a year in exchange for the opportunity to win bonuses.
No Child Left Behind should provide incentives to keep competent teachers and dump the non-performers, reasons Teacher Beat. But is that really happening?
Teacher Beat also reports on a New Teacher Project study of how teachers are hired and evaluated in San Francisco: From 2005-2007, only five of 1,804 teachers were rated “unsatisfactory,” while 86 percent received one of the top two ratings.