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Mercedes Schneider reviews a new report from the Education Research Alliance in New Orleans. The bottom line: When Louisiana eliminated tenure, teacher turnover increased.
This shouldn’t be surprising. Removing job security encourages attrition. Other research has shown that instability and teacher churn are not good for teaching and learning.
“In 2012, the Louisiana legislature passed Act 1, commonly known as the “teacher tenure law.” Moreover, the Louisiana State Department of Education (LDOE) has translated Act 1 into an evaluation system whereby 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is connected to “student learning”– the bottom line of which is student test score outcomes.
Act 1 began in 2012 as House Bill 974. The reason it is called Act 1 is that the 2012 Louisiana legislature rammed it though as the first act, with calculated speed, amid an atmosphere dripping with then-Governor Bobby Jindal’s business-and-industry-backed intention to bring “accountability” in the evaluating of the state’s teachers.
Once 2012 hit, Louisiana teachers began considering how and when to leave the profession. And each year beginning with 2012, Louisiana’s teacher workforce has experienced a noticeable exit of many experienced, seasoned teachers who otherwise would not have likely chosen to leave the profession so soon.
Thus, it comes as no surprise to me that a February 22, 2017, study by the Education Research Alliance (ERA) for New Orleans has found that based on teacher data from 2005 to 2012, Louisiana teachers did indeed begin leaving at a more notable rate, with those retirement-eligible comprising the greatest number of exiters.
Having 25+ years of employment, this group also happened to be the most experienced.
Moreover, it should come as no surprise that schools graded “F” lost the highest number of teachers in the post-Act-1 exit.”
The most experienced teachers left. The leavers disproportionately taught in high-needs schools. Can the state replace? The state seems to have succeeded in creating. A teacher shortage in hard-to-staff schools.