Will education reformers seize upon states' economic insecurity to end teacher tenure?
Such a plan has won backing from former D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who writes in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed that the opportunity to ditch tenure and other bulwarks of the present education system represents a "bright side" of crippling state budget deficits in 2011.
"Public support is building for a frontal attack on the educational status quo," she writes. "And policy makers are rising to the challenge, not only because their budgets are tighter than ever, but also because they see an opportunity to reverse the current trend of discouraging academic results for our children."
Rhee singles out teacher tenure for elimination. In most states, tenure guarantees teachers extra job security after they are rated satisfactory for a probationary period of two to seven years. After that point, administrators cannot fire a teacher unless they can prove in a hearing that he or she is incompetent or has committed a specific fireable offense, which varies by state.Read More »from National strike ‘not off the table’ if states reverse teacher tenure