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Much Ado About Tenure

By Dave Lucas


Albany, NY – "Teacher Tenure" has become a political hot potato, pitting school officials against legislators. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.

Tenure is generally granted after two or three years, giving teachers what amounts to lifetime job security. Critics believe that the existing tenure system makes it difficult to weed out bad teachers.
Legislation before the Senate and Assembly would require school systems statewide to follow standardized guidelines for tenure decisions. School districts would be prohibited from feeding local input such as "value-added testing," using student test scores to evaluate teachers for tenure.
If the bills are passed, most of the guidelines for awarding tenure would be decided by the Board of Regents, not by school districts.
The proposed amendments are being reviewed by Governor David Paterson's administration... Legislators say they are aware of the different opinions on tenure and expect the issue will be resolved as part of the budget-negotiating process.