Tenure Bill Heads to the Senate Floor

Governor Bill Haslam’s plan to re-draw the rules of teacher tenure was cleared Wednesday for a vote in the state Senate.

Governor Haslam wants to make it harder for public school teachers to get tenure – a job protection that requires a lengthy procedure when a school system wants to dismiss a teacher.

Some complain that the proposed tenure changes would occur while the state is still trying to create a new method of evaluating teachers. The evaluations are necessary before tenure can be granted. Haslam says the state can’t wait until the situation is perfect.

“I actually have had that conversation about evaluation and how far we are in the process literally this weekend with everybody from other governors to President Obama’s education secretary to Bill Gates, and the consensus is this: the perfect is the enemy of good when it comes to evaluation systems.”

Haslam says the state can reevaluate what it’s doing to improve it in coming years.

Members of the Tennessee Education Association, who are opposed to the measure, crowded the Senate Committee room as the measure was approved, six Republicans for, three Democrats against.

The Senate version of the bill –now ready for a vote – is well ahead of the House version, which is still in the Education Subcommittee.

The bill is SB 1528 Norris/HB 2012 McCormick.

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