New Evidence on Teacher Tenure Reform
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
A number of states have changed tenure rules in recent years by enacting reforms that vary in degree from the seniority-based status quo. Some states have simply extended the number of years teachers are required to teach in order to attain tenure while others have repealed tenure and due process provisions outright. Still other states have enacted reforms that require teachers’ performance ratings be a primary consideration during the tenure eligibility process and even revert teachers to probationary status if their performance is rated unsatisfactory.
The recent policy emphasis on tenure appears to be a natural extension of the large body of research highlighting teacher quality as a prominent school-based determinant of educational outcomes. However, the evidence of the effects of recent tenure reforms is limited but at last emerging. The papers in the session exploit extensive survey and administrative data across four states to illuminate the effects of reformed tenure policies on the teacher labor force, with particular emphasis on principal responses to tenure reform as well as changes to teacher quality and transfer and exit patterns.