Teachers' union sees a tenure reform plan it likes

Jun 23, 2011

A tenure reform plan in the state Senate has the stamp of approval from Michigan’s largest teachers’ union.

The Senate proposal is very different from a tenure reform plan approved by the state House earlier this month.

Doug Pratt is with the Michigan Education Association. He says the legislation would eliminate a state tenure commission, and instead assign arbitrators to school districts that want to dismiss tenured teachers.

"Those are the two real issues, the time and money involved, in making decisions about dismissing tenured teachers."

Unlike the Senate proposal, the House plan would change the way tenure is awarded in the first place. It would require teachers to be on probation for five years instead of four. Teachers would have to be rated “effective” or better to be awarded tenure. They could also be put back on probation for “ineffective” ratings. Those ratings would also trump seniority in layoff decisions.