New York City has made it much harder for teachers to get tenure after three years of experience. Only 58 percent of eligible teachers received tenure this year, 39 percent were given another year to qualify and 3 percent were rejected.
Five years ago, roughly 99 percent of eligible teachers received tenure, reports the New York Times.
“We’ve turned what had been a joke interpretation of the state law to make it something that you have to work hard, earn, and show that you are better than the average bear” to get, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a news conference.
Under the city’s new standards, teachers are rated on a four-point scale as highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective, based on students’ tests scores, classroom observations, feedback from parents, and other factors. (Previously, they were simply rated satisfactory or not.) Principals, who make recommendations on tenure, and supervisors, who make the decisions, were allowed to give tenure only to teachers who were rated effective or better for two consecutive years.
Some teachers complained that evaluation standards are unclear.
Teachers can remain on probationary status indefinitely, “although last year, one-third of those whose probation had been extended were dismissed,” reports the Times.