Monday, March 28, 2011

Effectiveness should be measure for tenure in New Jersey

Kathleen Nugent, the head of DFER New Jersey, with a spot-on column about the need to change tenure practices:

The main challenge with tenure today is its ambivalence toward student outcomes.

Under current law and collective bargaining agreements across New Jersey, teachers gain tenure after three years of consecutive service. Many teachers that have gained tenure under this system are excellent and realize major gains with their students. However, there are also tenured teachers who do not move their students' achievement and whose impact in the classroom is minimal and therefore detrimental.

And therein lies the problem — once a teacher is granted tenure, he or she is not differentiated from peers and gains ironclad job protections that make it almost impossible to remove underperformers from the classroom.

Ineffectiveness, however criminal it is for a student's education, is not grounds for removal. There are about 100,000 tenured teachers in New Jersey and over the past 10 years, only 17 of them were removed for ineffectiveness.

This is simply unacceptable.


Effectiveness should be measure for tenure in New Jersey

Published: Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 5:43 AM

By Star-Ledger Guest Columnist

By Kathleen Nugent

New Jersey's teacher tenure system is not working for our children, and it's time to turn the page on our antiquated practices and begin a new chapter — where the interests of students are put first.

The single most important thing we can do to ensure every child receives an excellent education is to make sure there is a great teacher in every classroom. Therefore, we must strategically recruit, develop, retain, pay and place the best people for these pivotal roles.

 Subscribe in a reader