Teacher Tenure Bill Passes Tennessee House

Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to make it tougher for Tennessee teachers to get – and keep – tenure has passed the House. The measure was approved 65-32 Thursday. The companion bill in the Senate passed 21-12 earlier this month. Lawmakers must now agree on minor changes to the legislation before it goes to the governor’s desk. The proposal would require a teacher to be on the job five years instead of three to secure tenure and would create a way for job security to be revoked for poor teaching performance. Opponents say the evaluation system for tenure isn’t in effect yet and that it has not been determined how best to rate educators whose subjects aren’t covered by the state’s value-added test scoring program. Following the vote, Governor Haslam stated, “As a state we have to treat teaching like the honorable and important profession it is and make Tennessee a place where great educators feel rewarded and appreciated for their efforts. “Nothing makes as much of a difference in a child’s education as the teacher at the front of the classroom, and this tenure proposal is an important next step following last year‘s bipartisan effort that led to the First to the Top legislation and the Race to the Top award. We have many great teachers in Tennessee, and we can have even more. “If our goal in education is to grow the number of college graduates and provide a better educated work force for employers looking to relocate or expand in Tennessee, then our effort begins with making sure every child in every classroom learns from a great teacher.”