Sunday, January 16, 2011

Several US states plan to eliminate teacher tenure

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie plans a broad education reform. The list includes familiar ideas for reforms -- including closing low performing schools, adding more charter schools and introducing merit pay for teachers. The most controversial aspect of the reform is Christie's plan to the complete abolition of teacher tenure. (Read more about New Jersey's education reform plans here)

A recent poll by the Associated Press-Stanford University found that 78 percent think it should be easier for school administrators to fire poorly performing teachers. Yet overall, the public wants to reward teachers – 57 percent say they are paid too little, with just 7 percent believing they are overpaid and most of the rest saying they're paid about right. (Read more about the poll here)

Similar plans to eliminate teacher tenure are underway in Idaho. Idaho school superintendent Tom Luna described his plan to eliminate tenure for new teachers and make them work on two-year contracts similar to principals' contracts. He says it is important to reward good teachers and identify poor teachers, and the current system makes that difficult.

Read about other controversial school reform ideas in California and Florida here.

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