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Michigan’s Gov. Snyder approves teacher tenure reform

On Tuesday Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation that dramatically changes the route to tenure for teachers in public school systems.

A press release from the Governor’s office says the reform was needed and will weed out inefficient teachers.

Gov. Rick Snyder today signed teacher tenure reform legislation that ends the “Last In, First Out” practice through which school districts make staffing decisions based solely on seniority, in favor of a new system that requires administrators to consider demonstrated effectiveness in the classroom. …

“Making staffing decisions based on merit and performance encourages good teachers to keep doing what they are doing and helps ensure students receive the highest quality education,” Snyder said. “This long overdue reform will protect outstanding teachers who are enthusiastic about the material and able to connect with students in a way that makes them want to learn.”

Teachers will now have to wait five years instead of four to receive tenure. And the legislation allows for teachers to be dismissed from their job at any time.

Opponents of the legislation said that this is just another union-busting attempt by the GOP and that the new evaluation standards, which are heavily based on standardized test scores, do not give an accurate gauge on the education process.

The Michigan Education Association released a short statement regarding the new law.

Educators will no longer be allowed to collectively bargain teacher placement and teachers at all levels can now be fired for almost any reason. Teacher evaluations will occur annually and student growth and assessment data will be weighed heavily — in 2013-14, student growth and assessment will account for 25 percent of a teacher or administrator evaluation and by 2015-16, the data will make up 49 percent of the evaluation.

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