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Tenure Reform Supported by Educators
posted by: Ruthie | March 20, 2014, 07:30 PM   

Recently, Mashea Ashton, CEO of Newark Charter School Fund (NCSF) wrote a blog for the
Huffington Post advocating for the reform of teacher tenure laws.

Ashton said, “Strict LIFO (last in, first out)-only policies risk forcing out high-performing teachers who have a passion for educating students and bring fresh, innovative ideas to the classroom. This punishes children by depriving them of the most talented teaching force they deserve.”

One study found that a mere 13% of teachers who are laid off under LIFO policies would actually be terminated if they were rated on their effectiveness in the classroom.

These outdated policies are not working for students or teachers. The laws are not promoting the elevation of the teaching profession or serving students by insuring each student has access to an effective teacher.

Ashton references studies showing a great teacher can help students achieve 1.5 years of learning in just one year, while a less effective teacher can cause students to lose half a year. Furthermore, having a good teacher for just one year can increase a child's lifetime earnings by $80,000.

Fortunately, lawmakers, teachers, and students are beginning to change these policies. According to the
2014 AAE member survey, 78% of AAE members disagree with “LIFO” or “last in, first out.” This statistic is 3% more than 2013’s annual survey, demonstrating a growing awareness of LIFO as harmful to students and the teaching profession at large.

Similarly, in Newark, New Jersey, Superintendent Cami Anderson has asked the state's education department to allow teacher evaluation to be considered along with tenure in personnel decisions. In California, education reform advocates are suing the state's school system over rules that require layoff decisions to be based solely on seniority.

Clearly, this trend is taking shape in states and districts throughout the country, with major support from all stakeholders.

What do you think of teacher tenure laws?

Comment below.


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