Teacher tenure under fire

New Jersey teachers protest Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure reform proposals (AP Photo)

Hour 1

As states and school districts grapple with severe financial issues and efforts to improve America’s public schools advance, the issue of teacher tenure for public school teachers has taken center stage.   In New Jersey, for example, the Christie administration has proposed an end to guaranteed tenure after three years.  Instead, teachers would have to be rated at minimum “effective” under a new evaluation system for three consecutive years and a teacher with tenure who is rated “ineffective ” or “partially ineffective” for two consecutive years could be stripped of tenure.  So should teachers be guaranteed lifetime employment, is it possible to dismiss an ineffective teacher under our current system of tenure, and how can administrators fairly evaluate a teacher’s job performance?   We talk with Drew University professor PATRICK McGUINN, who studies teacher tenure and the efforts to reform the system and is the author of a Center for American Progress report titled “Ringing the Bell for K-12 Teacher Tenure Reform.”

Listen to the mp3

[audio: 033011_100630.mp3]

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