By: Krystle Crossman
Tenure for a teacher is very important. Education is very fickle and to have that guarantee that they will have their job for as long as they want it is very comforting. Unfortunately there are many states that are no longer offering tenure to their teachers. Instead they are handing out yearly teaching contracts.
In Florida any teacher that was hired from 2011 and on is put on one of these teaching contracts which means that their contract could end at the end of the year and that will be that. North Carolina and Kansas are trying to eliminate tenure completely and are working to phase it out slowly. There are also currently 16 states that require that teacher evaluations be done and carefully assessed before granting tenure to anyone. These new policies have not gone unnoticed and are not without fights.
There are new initiatives from the government that are being implemented that make teacher evaluations much more comprehensive and insightful. They want to make sure that the teachers are effective. One thought is that if the teacher has tenure and is an ineffective teacher, it makes it that much harder to fire them and could be bad for the students as they would continue to teach ineffectively. These evaluations use student progress and grades in the schools as one of the main components to ensure that the students are getting the education that they deserve from the teacher.
California has been involved in legal battles over their hiring and firing policies. Nine students were a part of this fight stating that the good teachers were staying away because of the new policies and the ineffective teachers were kept in the school. A Supreme Court Judge agreed with them and ruled against the California policies. It is felt that the ruling in this case is going to cause a ripple effect and lawsuits will begin popping up to protect the teachers.