Los Angeles, CA—Teach Plus California today released the following statement on the California Assembly Bill 1220
“Teach Plus and Teach Plus teachers strongly support AB 1220, introduced today by Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. (D-San Diego). This critically-needed piece of legislation makes teacher tenure, or permanent status, a true, earned professional benchmark. Passage of this bill would ensure that we have many more high-caliber teachers in front of California’s K-12 public school students.
By lengthening the minimum period to achieve tenure from two years to three, the bill allows new teachers sufficient time to develop their craft and demonstrate proficiency. It also provides school administrators with a long enough window to thoroughly determine if a new teacher merits tenure. In explicitly requiring demonstrated teaching proficiency before the granting of tenure, the bill makes tenure a significant professional achievement. Finally, in giving priority professional development support to teachers striving to achieve tenure, the bill emphasizes strengthened teacher retention at a time of growing teacher shortages.
"A year and a half is simply not enough time for a teacher to gain mastery of their craft,” said Lester Vasquez, 2013-14 LAUSD Teacher of the Year and a Teach Plus California Teaching Policy Fellow. “By providing teachers with support and giving them more time to earn tenure, AB 1220 is helping to make sure that we have high-performing teachers in front of our students.”
The provisions in AB 1220 closely align with the results of the Teach Plus poll, Raising the Bar: The Views of California Teachers on Tenure, Layoffs, and Dismissal, of 500+ CA traditional public school teachers around the issues of teacher tenure. Key results included:
- 81% of teachers believe that having tenure is important
- 85% of teachers believe that teachers should serve at least 3 years before getting tenure
- 92% of teacher believe that they should be required to demonstrated classroom effectiveness as part of the tenure decision
“Teachers are very clear on the need to modify the current system so that tenure becomes an earned, performance-based standard,” said Mike Stryer, California Senior Executive Director. “AB 1220 takes concrete steps towards achieving such a standard so that we can more clearly realize a future where every California student has access to an excellent teacher. We are grateful to Assemblymember Weber for introducing this bill and encourage all members of the California Senate to support it.” “
Teach Plus is a national nonprofit that empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students' success. www.teachplus.org