Discussions of teacher tenure largely omit the first point any economist would make. Tenure is valuable to teachers. Tenure may or may not be a good idea. (I think it’s a very good idea, albeit a healthy dose of reform is needed in the way it’s applied.) Whether tenure is a good idea or nor, tenure is an important part of teachers’ overall compensation package. Wouldn’t you value a guarantee that you can’t be fired?
North Carolina just eliminated tenure. (Here’s the NPR story.) North Carolina also cut out extra pay for teachers with a master’s. I don’t want to push too hard on tightly-linked cause and effect, but here’s the last line of the NPR story about North Carolina.
Freshman enrollment in the state universities’ education schools is down between 20 and 40 percent.