Debates about teacher tenure often are contentious. Teachers’ unions argue that tenure laws are necessary because they give teachers access to due process. Opponents of tenure often argue that tenure makes it impossible to remove an awful teacher. So, which is it? This is one of the questions addressed in a new essay that I co-authored with Kacie Barnes, “The Power to Lead: Analysis of Superintendent Survey Responses Regarding Teacher Tenure.”
We surveyed 192 Missouri public school superintendents. We thought these individuals would be in the best position to tell the truth about teacher tenure. What did we find?
Seventy-three percent of superintendents in our survey stated that it is somewhat or very difficult to remove a tenured teacher. They note that the process of removing a teacher based on his or her performance in the classroom takes much effort and could cost a significant amount of money. For these reasons, among others, approximately 92 percent of the superintendents stated they would be supportive of some type of tenure reform.
According to the superintendents in our survey, it is time for tenure reform. The question is, what type of reform should it be? Superintendents have thoughts on that as well.
You can read the full paper below.