The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Breaking News

AP story section

June 13, 2014

Some states roll back teacher tenure protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — Even before a judge’s scathing ruling against California’s teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states — and even removed altogether in some places.

Florida, for example, put all teachers hired after 2011 on an annual teaching contract, which essentially did away with tenure protections.

Kansas and North Carolina also are seeking to eliminate tenure or phase it out. The nonpartisan Education Commission of the States, which highlighted the changes in a recent report, says 16 states — up from 10 in 2011 — now require the results of teacher evaluations be used in determining whether to grant tenure.

Not all changes have stuck, and few are without a political fight.

Teacher tenure protections were established in the 20th century to protect teachers from arbitrary or discriminatory firings based on factors such as gender, nationality or political beliefs. They spell out rules under which teachers may be dismissed after they pass a probationary period. But critics say the tenure protections make it too difficult to fire ineffective teachers.

The debate over teacher tenure comes as many states, propelled by Obama administration-led incentives, develop more meaningful teacher evaluation systems that seek to provide a more accurate picture of student learning under a teacher. Using such systems, the Education Commission of the States says seven states make teachers return to probationary status if they are rated “ineffective,” meaning they have no assurances their contracts will be renewed at the end of the school year.

”A good number of states have effectively done away with tenure through their new evaluation systems that include measurements of student achievement,” said Michelle Exstrom, education program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu in Los Angeles sided with nine students who sued to overturn California statutes governing teacher hiring and firing, saying they served no compelling purpose and had led to an unfair, nonsensical system that drove excellent new teachers from the classroom too soon and kept incompetent senior ones. The practices harm students in a way that “shocks the conscience” and have “a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students,” the judge wrote.

Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News