NYC denies tenure to 45% of eligible teachers

After three years in the classroom, New York City teachers are considered for tenure. Five years ago, 97 percent got it. This year, only 55 percent of eligible teachers earned tenure.

Only 3 percent of probationary teachers were fired. Forty-two percent were kept on probation for another year. “Of those whose probations were extended last year, fewer than half won tenure this year, a third were given yet another year to prove themselves, and 16 percent were denied tenure or resigned,” reports the New York Times.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has vowed to end “tenure as we know it,” notes the Times. He’s not the only one. Some 18 states have weakened teacher tenure rights and/or made tenure harder to get.

Idaho last year did away with tenure entirely by passing a law giving newly hired teachers no expectation of a contract renewal from one year to the next. In Florida, all newly hired teachers now must earn an annual contract, with renewals based upon their performance.

Last month in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation overhauling the nation’s oldest tenure law and making it easier for teachers to be fired for poor performance.

Tenure was virtually automatic in most state until a few years ago, said Sandi Jacobs, vice president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. “Tenure was looked at as much more of a sacred cow,” she told the Times. “Once states started to move on it, then the dominoes started to fall in other states.”

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  1. By making standards that 45% of the teachers can’t match, they will be driving younger, more energetic teachers out of the business.

    Meanwhile, who will be teaching? Why, those teachers that previously, and sometimes, undeservedly, got tenure. And substitutes to fill in any gaps – particularly in high-needs areas like math, science, and special ed.

    And we wonder why our kids do so badly on math and science tests.

  2. Mark Roulo says:

    From the article:

    Only 55 percent of eligible teachers, having worked for at least three years, earned tenure in 2012, compared with 97 percent in 2007.

    An additional 42 percent this year were kept on probation for another year, and 3 percent were denied tenure and fired. Of those whose probations were extended last year, fewer than half won tenure this year, a third were given yet another year to prove themselves, and 16 percent were denied tenure or resigned.

    So, 97% of the teachers with three years experience were retained and 3% were fired.

    55 of that 97 now have tenure.

    Roughly 1/2 of the 42 without tenure can be expected to get it next year, so after four years we’ll have ~75% of the teachers from this third-year class with tenure, about 10% fired or quit and 15% still employed, but without tenure.

    This does not strike me as a disaster for the teachers …

    • 75% of the cohort might eventually EARN tenure, but you’re fired/quit number is too low. What’s the stat we’ve seen kicked around? 50% turnover in 5 years? I wonder if we’ll be able to keep enough qualified people coming into the profession to staff the classrooms. Especially as the Boomer head into the sunset.

      • Mark Roulo says:

        My quit/fired numbers don’t include the teachers who quit (or were fired) in the first two years or in the middle of the third year. Because the article doesn’t include these.

        Still, I’m comparing the current/reported numbers to the previous numbers that had 97% of the teachers getting tenure. The 2007 number had 97% of those teachers still around after three years getting tenure. The 2012 numbers suggest that 75%-80% will now get tenure, although some will have to wait a few more years.