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Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed teacher tenure reform legislation that ends the “Last In, First Out” practice through which school districts make staffing decisions based solely on seniority, in favor of a new system that requires administrators to consider demonstrated effectiveness in the classroom.
The reform is touted as part of the governor’s "comprehensive plan to reinvent Michigan’s educational system."
Read MASA guidance related to Tenure Reform...
Provisions of new tenure laws
The standard probationary period for new teachers would be extended from four to five years. Teachers would need three consecutive years of satisfactory evaluations to gain tenure.
- A tenured teacher could be dismissed after three consecutive years of poor evaluations and if the teacher fails to improve under an individualized professional development plan.
- A lower standard would be set for dismissing teachers for misconduct. The current law say tenured teachers can be fired only for “just cause.” The new standard would be for reasons that are not “arbitrary and capricious.”
- Seniority would no longer be the main factor in determining layoffs. The new laws will allow administrators to consider performance, teachers’ special training and accomplishments and, in some cases, years of experience.
- Establishes a state mandate for teacher and administrator evaluations. Teachers and administrators would have to be evaluated annually, and eventually a measure of students’ academic growth using test scores would make up half of that evaluation
- School districts will have to notify parents in writing if their child is taught by a teacher who is rated ineffective.
House Bills 4625, 4626, 4627 and 4628, sponsored by state Reps. Bill Rogers, Rep. Paul Scott, Margaret O’Brien and Ken Yonker respectively, are now Public Acts 101, 100, 102 and 103 of 2011.
The governor today also signed legislation that will make it easier for school districts to share resources and put more money in the classroom by allowing an Intermediate School District superintendent to serve dual roles by also serving as the superintendent of a local school district. H.B.s 4232, 4233, 4234, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Huuki, are now P.A.s 104 through 106.