Tenure depends on the laws of each state, but tenure also depends on the practices (you might even call them the “cultural expectations”) of each school district. The recent NCTQ report on Los Angeles schools, the nation’s second largest district, shows the beginnings of a change in how the district deals with the small number of teachers who are tenured and who shouldn’t be teaching.
First the bad news. Here are two survey results from the NCTQ study.
68 percent of surveyed teachers said that there were tenured teachers currently working in their schools who should be dismissed for poor performance.
34 percent of principals surveyed said that they did not even try to dismiss a poor performing teacher because the process was unlikely to result in dismissal.
How do you suppose it feels to be a teacher trying to do right by your students, knowing that there’s a teacher down the hall who’s so bad that she should be fired…and knowing she has tenure.
Now for some better news. In the last two years the L.A. schools have tripled the number of teachers dismissed.
Remember that L.A. is a big district. The greatly increased dismissal rate is now up to 1 teacher in a 100 is dismissed each year.