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  #1  
Old 02-18-2013, 01:29 PM
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Tenure

I'm learning very quickly on these forums that the assumptions I've made about tenure and it's role in teachers lives are skewed. A recent thread by Pisces_Fish really showed me a different perspective. My experience is that tenure, once granted, can only be removed under immediate-termination circumstances (child abuse, showing up drunk, things like that). That's apparently not true at all, so if you have a minute could you please share how tenure is handled in your school? Is it contingent on evaluations or performance? How can it be taken away/how can your job be threatened?
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2013, 01:47 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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NJ has new tenure law. It now takes 4 years to attain enure. We are now evaluated on a four point system. We willbe rated as “highly effective,” “effective,” “partially effective,” or “ineffective.” Tenure charges must be brought against an employee who has an “ineffective” or “partially effective” rating in one year and who is rated “ineffective” the following year in an annual summative evaluation.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:51 PM
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In Oklahoma it is all tied to our new evaluation system...it will be easier for principals to get rid of older teachers and those that disagree with their policies. Basically a teacher has limited rights now.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:22 PM
John Lee John Lee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czacza View Post
NJ has new tenure law. It now takes 4 years to attain enure. We are now evaluated on a four point system. We willbe rated as “highly effective,” “effective,” “partially effective,” or “ineffective.” Tenure charges must be brought against an employee who has an “ineffective” or “partially effective” rating in one year and who is rated “ineffective” the following year in an annual summative evaluation.
I would assume that these evaluations are based largely on observed lessons of a class. The problem with that, is that most any experienced teacher can devise a lesson where students may seem more engaged, etc. than normal. So it's probably not going to have the effect people would like it to have. The reason I say it is because I've seen many not-very-good teachers over the years.

The other thing is that there is an attitude of "niceness" within the field. It's not cut/dried for an administrator, to judge a teacher who the principal has known for a while and may know (for example) the teacher's family situation (i.e. the teacher has two kids in college to pay for)--and would feel badly, to label said teacher as "ineffective" (even though she may be)... when it would be just as easy to just let her continue on with her mild incompetence (after all, she's not a bad person) when in reality, she's not cutting the mustard. Some might call that "the fault of the administrator", but let's be real--it's hard to blame. They don't want to ruin a career.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czacza View Post
NJ has new tenure law. It now takes 4 years to attain enure. We are now evaluated on a four point system. We willbe rated as “highly effective,” “effective,” “partially effective,” or “ineffective.” Tenure charges must be brought against an employee who has an “ineffective” or “partially effective” rating in one year and who is rated “ineffective” the following year in an annual summative evaluation.
That seems fair in theory but are the evaluations based on classroom observations and test scores? It seems like there should be some sort of impartial check as well. Some way to prevent an administrator from giving bad evaluations for spiteful reasons.

I should also add my experiences come mostly from PA but I'm not well versed with the actual law.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:32 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Lee View Post
I would assume that these evaluations are based largely on observed lessons of a class. The problem with that, is that most any experienced teacher can devise a lesson where students may seem more engaged, etc. than normal. So it's probably not going to have the effect people would like it to have. The reason I say it is because I've seen many not-very-good teachers over the years.

The other thing is that there is an attitude of "niceness" within the field. It's not cut/dried for an administrator, to judge a teacher who the principal has known for a while and may know (for example) the teacher's family situation (i.e. the teacher has two kids in college to pay for)--and would feel badly, to label said teacher as "ineffective" (even though she may be)... when it would be just as easy to just let her continue on with her mild incompetence (after all, she's not a bad person) when in reality, she's not cutting the mustard. Some might call that "the fault of the administrator", but let's be real--it's hard to blame. They don't want to ruin a career.
The new evaluation systems mostly call for ten-15 unannounced mini observations per teacher, per year...it eliminates the dog and pony show, staged kinds of lessons for observations.
My districts evaluation system is Kim Marshall's system. It calls for several evaluators so there is some degree of inter rater reliability. Also with six rubrics of ten benchmarks apiece, it's not so much a blanket rating, but more of a multifaceted picture of each educator. I find it keeps teachers more 'on their toes'. Not such a bad thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post
That seems fair in theory but are the evaluations based on classroom observations and test scores? It seems like there should be some sort of impartial check as well. Some way to prevent an administrator from giving bad evaluations for spiteful reasons.

I should also add my experiences come mostly from PA but I'm not well versed with the actual law.
Our evaluation system includes an informal, not written, follow up conversation...teachers play a role in that conversation in that we should be able to discuss our rationale, goals, assessments of learning, teaching decisions.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czacza View Post
The new evaluation systems mostly call for ten-15 unannounced mini observations per teacher, per year...it eliminates the dog and pony show, staged kinds of lessons for observations.
My districts evaluation system is Kim Marshall's system. It calls for several evaluators so there is some degree of inter rater reliability. Also with six rubrics of ten benchmarks apiece, it's not so much a blanket rating, but more of a multifaceted picture of each educator. I find it keeps teachers more 'on their toes'. Not such a bad thing.
Color me impressed. The experience I have with classroom observation is an "unannounced" visit lasting a whole 15-20 minutes, once a year...if they get around to it. I would certainly feel much more comfortable with an accurate evaluation if I'd been seen 10-15 times!
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:36 PM
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Reality Check Reality Check is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe View Post
That seems fair in theory but are the evaluations based on classroom observations and test scores? It seems like there should be some sort of impartial check as well. Some way to prevent an administrator from giving bad evaluations for spiteful reasons.
You're soooooooooo right! "Fair in theory" makes the assumption that administrators are actually going to behave in a professional manner and that everyone is playing by the rules.

You also have to have confidence that your union leaders are going to play by the rules and actually represent you if there's an "unsatisfactory" rating. I've seen more than a few cases in my 20+ years where the building representatives obviously cut a deal with the district, sat on their hands, and allowed the district to torpedo a tenured teacher without putting up more than a token defense.

The idea of relying on someone's honor and integrity have become foreign concepts anymore.


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  #9  
Old 02-18-2013, 02:53 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Again, Reality, not the experience I've had in 15 years of teaching.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2013, 03:02 PM
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Rockguykev Rockguykev is offline
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In California we are basically untouchable once tenured. I've not once heard of it revoked and our evaluations have no influence on our tenure whatsoever. It is automatically bestowed after two years of contract work.
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