20 Aug 2014
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Report: Tenured Teachers Rarely Let Go

Some teachers question the governor's comprehension of tenure.

Report: Tenured Teachers Rarely Let Go

As Gov. Dannel P. Malloy works to restructure the tenure system in public schools, the Connecticut Post found in an investigation that hardly any tenured teachers are fired.

Out of 53,000 tenured teachers in public schools, only 40 were fired in the past two years, a dismissal rate of less than one tenth a percent, according to the Post. 

"Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away," Malloy said earlier this month at his . "I propose we do it a different way. I propose we hold every teacher to a standard of excellence."

Under his proposed $128 million education agenda, 80 percent would go to the worst districts. With his plan, . Some districts, the ones that exceed academic expectations, would see no extra funding.

In order for the schools to get the money, however, districts would have to "embrace key reforms," with tenure changes being one of them.

"In this new system, tenure will be a privilege, not a right," Malloy said. "It will be earned and retained through effective teaching, not by counting years of service."

BACKLASH FROM TEACHERS

, who teaches physics at in Stratford, was among the teachers quoted in the Connecticut Post article wondering where Malloy got his ideas on teacher tenure.

"Being a beginning teacher is incredibly hard work and prior to achieving tenure, I was constantly evaluated by my administrators to make sure I was effective in the classroom. If someone isn't being effective during those first years, then they simply aren't hired back. Unfortunately, the governor's speech only added to the misunderstandings the general public has about teacher tenure."

Dr. Gerald Kuroghlian, a former state finalist for Connecticut Teacher of the Year, criticized the Connecticut Post's investigation on . In his comment, he wrote that the report was inaccurate.

"Rather than being fired, the majority of teachers who do not live up to evaluation standards are urged to resign. A more accurate figure would be found in those who leave the profession. On a National Level two of every three English majors leave teaching after 4 years. The Post article also fails to cite the number of teachers who are dismissed during the first four probationary years."

Kuroghlian wrote that "tenure is no more than due process."

Where do you stand on the issue of tenure? Tell us in the comments.

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