Tenure is easy to get for LA teachers, reports the LA Times. More than 98 percent of probationary teachers get tenure after two years in the classroom.
The reviews are so lacking in rigor as to be meaningless, many instructors say. Before a teacher gets tenure, school administrators are required to conduct only a single, pre-announced classroom visit per year. . . .
Principals are not required to consider testing data, student work or grades.
Forty-four percent of LA principals “said they don’t always try to remove probationary teachers who they think don’t belong in the profession,” according to a 2008 survey by the New Teachers Project.
. . . Principals are afraid they’ll get someone worse; it’s time-consuming to prepare and unpleasant to deliver a negative evaluation; they learned not to be picky during teacher shortages that ended years ago; or they simply can’t tell who deserves a permanent job and who doesn’t.
Most important, L.A. Unified officials say, is a district culture that views struggling teachers almost as “pupils” who always have the capacity to improve.
But once a teacher is tenured, there’s no incentive to improve and no penalty for those who perform poorly. It’s “the equivalent of jobs for life,” says Superintendent Ramon Cortines, who pledges to improve the process.
Via American Power.