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Tenure legislation passes state senate

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The Senate approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s tenure reform legislation Thursday on a 21-12 vote, moving a key part of the governor’s legislative agenda forward.

The bill was heavily debated, with Democrats expressing deep concerns, particularly over whether the state’s evaluation system for teachers is equipped for such a substantive change. Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, was the only Democrat to vote in favor of the bill. All Republicans in the Senate voted for it.

“I’ve said all along I think it’s an important piece for what we’re trying to do with education in Tennessee, so I’m thrilled to see it take one more step,” Haslam said Thursday.

The governor said he did not think the process had been rushed, as has been alleged by many Democrats.

“The concept of tenure is not something that’s new to folks, and how we’re going to work it and use the evaluation process, I think, again is something that has a lot of feedback and input,” Haslam said. “Remember, we have two more years to get that evaluation process right before it impacts anybody’s tenure.”

The bill calls for revamping the teacher tenure process by changing the probationary period that teachers have to complete to become eligible for tenure from three years to five years. Even after achieving tenure, a teacher could be returned to probationary status.

A teacher who is returned to probationary status would have to be evaluated for two consecutive years at a level “above expectations” or “significantly above expectations” to keep tenure. The legislation would not affect teachers who already have tenure.

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Bill Haslam, General Assembly, Schools, State, Teachers
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Members Opinions:
March 12, 2011 at 8:43pm
2011 - Tennessee Declares War On Teachers.
March 13, 2011 at 9:28am
What is wrong with us ( Americans) that we engage in class warfare among ourselves. We are so busy fighting each other that we allow the ultra wealthy take and take. Since when did teachers cause our economic meltdown. We need to bring back the rules and laws put in place after the depression in the 1930's to prevent another meltdown.
The following poem describes us ( Americans) First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

March 13, 2011 at 10:34pm
I voted for Haslam...I made a huge mistake for this is driving a stake in the hearts of the middle class...as the GOP answers more and more to rich corporates and the gun lobbyists...
March 13, 2011 at 10:34pm
I voted for Haslam...I made a huge mistake for this is driving a stake in the hearts of the middle class...as the GOP answers more and more to rich corporates and the gun lobbyists...
March 14, 2011 at 11:50am
Publius claims it wrong to engage in class warfare then goes straight to the attack on the wealthy. Tenure is totally rediculous. you should be able to any teacher at any time for anything. Just like where I work. We need to attack the college professors tenure and stop the rape of every taxpayer with a college age kid. MTSU is also the tax payers enemy.
March 14, 2011 at 12:40pm
Education (n) - "That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding." (Ambrose Bierce)
March 14, 2011 at 1:16pm
I agree with Sprtman. Tenure is totally ridiculous! Good teachers do not need to worry about being tenured.
March 14, 2011 at 1:56pm
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." (Yogi Berra)
March 14, 2011 at 6:00pm
Sptman it is not class warfare to expect the wealthy to pay thier fair share.
Why are we giving tax breaks to them and going after teachers. Collective bargaining is bargianing. IF it is a bad bargain that the cities and counties make how can that be the teachers fault
I would like to see a flat tax rate with no deductions. The wealthy do not want that. My brother in law is very wealthy, I do not begrudge him his money he worked very hard for it. With his deductions he paid less money in taxes than I did He make 10 times more than I do.
I am a nurse, I would love to teach, but I can not afford to take a $15,000 dollar pay cut. Sprtman teachers do not make the money that you think they do. Look for the truth of the matter.
March 17, 2011 at 1:05pm
It is not in the least unreasonable for teachers to have to meet a higher standard for tenure. I would go even further by requiring continuing education credits for teachers and competency testing prior to approval of tenure. Comnpetent teachers have absolutely nothing to fear from this. Those less than competent are probably the ones howling the loudest.
March 18, 2011 at 8:35pm
Socettuem I think you are wrong being competent protecting teachers. I too believe there are problems in our schools. but punishing teachers is not the solution.
March 20, 2011 at 8:12am
The truth is the wealty pay far more than their FAIR share. The wealthy in this country are raped. I am all for fairness, if you make a million a year or ten thousand a year the percentage should be exactly the same.
I too would like to get rid of all the tax breaks in the tax code. The mortage deduction for one. I'm sick and tired of supporting construction and real estate agents, and mortage people.
Lets go to a flat tax I'm all for it. I want all those earned income people to pay their FAIR share.
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