Tenure will no longer be a rite of passage for teachers as new state guidelines have not only made tenure harder to get, but have also made it easier to lose.
There are 21 Warren County school employees who will be granted tenure this year. Those who are granted tenure enjoy certain privileges like better job security and preferential treatment when jobs come open within the school system. Prior to 2011, tenure was tied with longevity almost exclusively. However, since that time, the state has tied classroom performance to obtaining and keeping tenure.
“There is more accountability,” said Warren County Director of Schools Bobby Cox. “Tenure is something that can be lost now.”
Under the new tenure rules, a person can be granted tenure after they have worked in the system for five years. But, the new rule adds another component, that rule requiring the teacher to have a rating of 4 or 5 in the 5-point effectiveness scale for educators for the past two years prior to their application for tenure. The ratings come from assessments that teachers have to undergo which rates their effectiveness in the classroom.
Cox said granting tenure is an annual process. The new requirements, he noted, also make it an annual process to where a tenured teacher could lose his or her tenure if their ratings drop.
“If they fall below a 4 or 5 rating, those are ratings of above average and exemplary, then they can lose their tenure,” Cox noted.
While the tenure club has become much more exclusive with the new requirements, Cox said the new rules do not pertain to teachers who had already been granted tenure before the law changed in 2011. Those educators cannot lose their tenure due to performance that slips below the above average rating.