For the Second Year in a Row, More Rigorous Standards Raise the Bar for Tenure
55 Percent of This Year’s Eligible Teachers Were Granted Tenure, Compared to 97% in 2007
Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced that 55 percent of eligible teachers were awarded tenure this year—maintaining the more rigorous standards developed for the 2010-11 school year. The Department of Education’s new approach to teacher tenure raises the bar by asking principals to provide detailed evidence to support their tenure recommendations.
“I’d like to congratulate the teachers who were granted tenure this year, and commend principals who are demanding higher standards. Receiving tenure is no longer an automatic right, and our new approach ensures that teachers who are granted tenure have earned it,” said Chancellor Walcott. “But our work is not done. We must improve the tenure process even further, and a teacher evaluation system will do just that and ensure our children are taught by the best.”
Under state law, a teacher who has completed his or her “probationary period,” or first three years of teaching, is eligible for tenure review. The number of eligible teachers decreased by 24 percent this year from 5,209 to 3,954 because fewer teachers were hired the past few years. Of the eligible teachers:
- 55% of teachers had their tenure decisions approved this year, compared to 97% in 2007
- 42% of teachers had their tenure decision extended this year, compared to 2% in 2007
- 3% of teachers had their tenure decisions denied, compared to 1% in 2007
Of the teachers who received extensions last year:
- 42% received tenure this year
- 35% received another extension
- 16% were denied tenure or left the system
- 7% were not included for review this year due to service, license or assignment changes
Principals must support their tenure recommendations with evidence in three categories: teacher practice, evidence of student learning and contributions to the school community. For each of these categories, teachers are rated on a four-point scale: ineffective, developing, effective or highly effective. Principals collect data from classroom observations, quality of student work, progress on state assessments, attendance, and student and parent feedback, among other measures. Special consideration is given to gains demonstrated with high-need populations, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students who are over-age and under-credited.