Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

L.A. Times: Teachers don't get much review before they're granted tenure



It's a frequent argument: Tenured teachers aren't fired often, some people say, because many ineffective teachers are weeded out during their probationary period. In a special report published this week, the Los Angeles Times found that fewer than 2 percent of probationary teachers are denied tenure. Here's the intro:

Altair Maine said he was so little supervised in his first few years of teaching at North Hollywood High School that he could "easily have shown a movie in class every day and earned tenure nontheless."

Before second-grade teacher Kimberly Patterson received tenure and the ironclad job protections it provides, she said, "my principal never set foot in my classroom while I was teaching.

And when Virgil Middle School teacher Roberto Gonzalez came up for tenure, he discovered there was no evaluation for him on file. When he inquired about it, his school hastily faxed one to district headquarters. "I'm pretty sure it was just made up on the spot," Gonzalez said.

There is nothing to suggest these teachers didn't deserve tenure, but the district did little to ensure they were worthy. A Times investigation found that the Los Angeles Unified School District routinely grants tenure to new teachers after cursory reviews - and sometimes none at all.

Is there any reason to believe the review process is any different in Florida?

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:45am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours