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A Discussion on Tenure & Seniority. Tenure & Seniority Changes. Changes to tenure and seniority are occurring nationwide and plans to modify the system are underway in New Jersey as well!

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Tenure seniority changes
Tenure & Seniority Changes

Changes to tenure and seniority are occurring nationwide and plans to modify the system are underway in New Jersey as well!

Plans to change current tenure and seniority rules build on a proposed educator evaluation system that would rate staff as highly effective, effective, partially ineffective, or ineffective based on a mix of student growth data and evidence of educator practice.

This system would facilitate changes to due process rules, tenure, seniority, and compensation.

Proposed change require statutory and code modifications that will involve action by the State Legislature and the State Board of Education. It is expected that changes in re-tenure and seniority may be heard as early as the lame duck legislative session (post election)!



Why tenure is still needed
Why Tenure Is Still Needed

  • Protects Educational Decision-making

  • Tenure =Due Process

  • Ongoing Accountability Even After Tenure

  • Continuity in School Leadership Key to Successful Reform


Reforms njpsa can support
Reforms NJPSA Can Support

  • Evaluation Reform is Critical

  • Professional Growth and Development is Key to Successful Reform

  • Streamlined Removal Process

  • Attainment of Tenure Rights

  • Uniformity of Tenure Rights Across Job Titles


Tenure proposals
Tenure Proposals

  • To earn tenure rights, teachers and leaders would have to be rated as effective or higher for three consecutive years. If a teacher fails to earn the necessary performance ratings they would remain in non-tenured status during their employment.

  • Similarly, educators could lose tenure status through poor performance. Under the Governor’s proposal an educator would lose tenure if rated ineffective for one year or partially effective for two consecutive years—and revert to a non-tenured status.  Non-tenured status does not mean that the teacher automatically loses his/her job; rather, it means that the teacher will no longer enjoy the due process protections of tenure.


Tenure pros cons
Tenure: Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

Increases cost to remove ineffective staff

Potential for abuse –”lifetime job”

Permits mediocrity in performance

  • Constrains political pressure in schools

  • Establishes standards and fair process of staff removal

  • Allows staff to be innovative without risk of removal

  • Eliminates arbitrary employment decisions

  • Promotes long-term reform efforts through continuity in leadership and staff stability


Changes in seniority
Changes in Seniority

  • The proposal seeks to eliminate current seniority rules during reductions in force to have effectiveness ratings, not seniority, determine which employees are retained on the job. Under the proposal, seniority would apply but within the four ratings categories so that an employee’s effectiveness rating would be the primary factor with seniority a secondary factor in determining retention during layoffs.


Seniority pros cons
Seniority : Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

Makes it more difficult to retain effective less senior staff

potential negative impact on quality of learning

Breeds negativity among staff in certain circumstances

Potential negative impact on hard to staff districts

  • Keeps RIF process simple – certainty in difficult situation

  • Helps retain most experienced staff

  • Rewards long-term service

  • Protects against Board action to remove higher paid employees


Mutual consent to placement
Mutual Consent to Placement

  • Teachers and principals would have to both agree to a job placement in the event of the elimination of a position or a school closing.

  • The teacher would retain employment rights and the district would assist the teacher in finding another job. If that teacher is unable to find a district teaching position within a year, the teacher would be placed on unpaid leave.

  • Mutual consent policies do exist in some school districts in other states via collective bargaining provisions. In addition, some states are beginning to adopt such policies on a statewide basis.

  • The intent is to place a teacher where they will be dedicated to their work and to give principals a say in the hiring of staff whose performance they will be evaluated on in terms of the student achievement/leader performance.


Mutual consent pros cons
Mutual Consent: Pros & Cons

Pros

Cons

Difficulty in filling certain posts in schools

Turmoil in placement

Limited opportunities / vacancies within district

Conflict with superintendent/board

  • Authority to choose own staff

  • Both staff and administrator are positive about placement

  • Leader evaluation will be based upon staff performance


Straw poll
Straw Poll

  • NJPSA conducted a straw poll during the first 2 weeks of September on tenure and seniority

  • Over 200 members participated

  • The following outline the findings thus far…







Weigh in
Weigh In

Now it’s your chance to provide input….


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