Tenure question (NJ but maybe others can help)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by HufflePuff, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. HufflePuff

    HufflePuff Cohort

    Jul 12, 2007
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    Aug 6, 2014

    I'm in NJ. I was board-approved in May to receive tenure at the start of the 2014-2015 school year. At this point, can they still let me go if they wanted to? Even if it was board-approved in May but won't go into effect until September?

    Just being paranoid. ;)
  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

    May 19, 2007
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    Aug 6, 2014

    This close to starting school, if they had a problem with you, I think they would have let you go long ago. In my state, before tenure was abolished, the P had to recommend tenure before it went to the board.
  4. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

    Jun 23, 2011
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    Aug 6, 2014

    I believe so. At least here in NY.

    There was a news story last year where a teacher was board approved for tenure in May/June to go into effect at the start of the following school year. He went on a reality show over the summer and made some derogatory comments, and the district let him go in August because his tenure wasn't in effect yet.

    My friend was approved for tenure in June and has said she's not officially "tenured" until September so they could still let her go until her effective date.
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

    Jul 19, 2014
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    Aug 6, 2014

    You have to understand that "if they wanted to" would have to indicate that there was some reason that made sense. Technically, yes, you could be just as at risk as everyone else who is nontenured to be let go with "not a good fit", but they offered you a contract that would now require them to show why they shouldn't be held to that contract, same as you are bound by that contract. The unthinkable could happen - no students enrolled in your classes, the budget takes a hit, the list is endless, but since you and the board agreed to the contract, fiscally there would be ramifications if they reneged. Although it wouldn't mean much to you, you would probably be able to go after them for financial compensation, since their backing out of the contract harmed your ability to acquire employment elsewhere. Similarly, your teacher union would raise quite the ruckus. A person who made derogitory comments that were widely publicized and public probably falls into that morals/suitability clause. You haven't mocked the district, I would be willing to bet, or gone out of your way to rock the boat.

    So the answer is comes down to this: yes, it is possible, but highly unlikely to not acquire tenure in this situation. The time period between being approved for tenure and the date that it kicks in is commonly known as the "angel period" or, as I have heard it called, the "Santa's Naughty and Nice list" time frame. Nothing is much able to change the course of events, but fear and paranoia keep the candidate in line and toeing the mark. I'm not sure, but the tenure takes effect two or three days after the beginning of the school year, right? So, play nice, be polite, don't criticize the district publicly, and stay out of trouble. Looked at from that perspective, the nicknames for that time frame makes more sense.

    Congrats on acquiring this milestone. Now, maybe we will get political leadership in the state that isn't determined to abolish tenure, or undermine it with the new evaluation procedures, but that is not within your control, so just let it go. Also, don't publicly comment, even though I provided the open door. Just smile, enjoy the rest of your summer, and show up to smile when your tenure becomes fact.

    Have a great school year! :hugs:

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