A new survey of Missouri superintendents shows 92 percent support tenure reform and nearly three-fourths find it difficult to remove poor-performing tenured teachers.
The Show-Me Institute report estimates 0.3 percent of tenured teachers in the state are ever removed from the classroom for poor performance. Even so, 65 percent of Missouri eighth graders are not proficient in reading, and 68 percent are not proficient in math, according to the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Report authors James Shuls and Kacie Barnes surveyed 192 public school superintendents.
“If we want to truly equip local leaders with the ability to lead their districts, then we need to unshackle them from the restrictive teacher tenure laws and give them more authority to develop these policies locally,” Shuls told School Reform News. “Doing this would allow local schools to develop policies that best meet their needs. Some districts might move towards multiyear contracts; others may base tenure on performance in the classroom.”
Most states require only two or three years in the classroom before granting tenure, but Missouri requires five.
“The Power to Lead,” Show-Me Institute, August 2013: http://www.scribd.com/doc/161425687/The-Power-To-Lead-Analysis-Of-Superintendent-Survey-Responses-Regarding-Teacher-Tenure.