Tennessee Teacher Tenure Law
Yesterday, April 12th, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a new Tennessee Teacher Tenure process. Ultimately, this Tenure Law will be informed by the implementation of a new Tennessee teacher evaluation system to be approved Friday, April 15th, by the State Board of Education. The new evaluation process ties half of a teacher’s annual evaluation to student performance measures, some of which have not been identified. The other half of the evaluation will be tied to observations and stakeholder (parent, student) feedback.
The idea is that with an improved and agreed upon vision for effective teaching (teacher evaluation system), Memphis (and Tennessee) will now be able to both define, measure and improve existing teacher quality. As a result, we will be able to make smarter decisions about who (and how) teaches our children as we better decide who does, and does not, receive tenure.
New Tennessee Teacher Tenure Law
1. Extends the probationary period for new teachers from the current three years to five before tenure can be awarded.
2. Requires probationary teachers to place in the top two tiers of a new five-tier evaluation system in both the fourth and fifth years of teaching to win tenure.
3. Teachers awarded tenure after July 1 of this year may be returned to probationary status if they are evaluated in the bottom two tiers of the new evaluation system for two consecutive years.
4. Expands the definition of one legal ground for dismissing tenured teachers – inefficiency – to include being evaluated as below or significantly below expectations.
5. Gives principals flexibility to keep on a nontenured teacher after the five-year period.
Additionally, but not a part of this law, Memphis will use this evaluation system to not only inform the tenure process but also to substantially improve compensation for the teachers scored in the top tier of the evaluation.
MTR supports the Tennessee Tenure law and is committed to the proven best-practice of establishing a clear vision and definition of excellence and supporting teachers as they grow towards excellence.
It’s what we do.