Total Recall: The Rise and Fall of Teacher Tenure

23 Pages Posted: 5 May 2015  

Laura R. McNeal

University of Louisville-Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Date Written: May 4, 2015

Abstract

This article will examine the evolution of tenure in K-12 public schools and explore new pathways of protecting teachers from unfair labor practices while advancing education reform. In this article, I argue that the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act should include an increased federal role in teacher quality through the creation of a uniform teacher evaluation system. Additionally, I will propose a collaborative framework for teachers and school districts that will maintain teacher rights while employing an evaluation system that affords school districts a means for removing ineffective teachers, regardless of their seniority. The larger ambition of this article is to help illustrate that we can create laws that achieve education equity without unfairly targeting or infringing on teachers' employment rights. Part I will explore the evolution of teacher tenure in K-12 schools and the impact on teachers' employment rights. Part II will examine the intersection of school reform and teacher tenure, with a particular emphasis on how reform measures have contributed to the erosion of teacher tenure. Part III will highlight the recent wave of antitenure legislation and discuss the implications for teacher rights in K-12 schools. Part IV will synthesize the current labor law landscape for teachers and argue that the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act should include procedural safeguards such as a uniform teacher evaluation system to ensure that teacher's employment rights are not violated. Part V will conclude with discussion of the future of teacher tenure in K-12 public schools and the implications for school reform.

Keywords: No Child Left Behind, NCLB, Elementary and Secondary Education Act , K-12, labor, education

JEL Classification: I00, I2, I20, I21, I28, N3, H5, K31

Suggested Citation

McNeal, Laura R., Total Recall: The Rise and Fall of Teacher Tenure (May 4, 2015). Hofstra Labor and Employment Law Journal, Vol. 30, 2012-2013; University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2015-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602309

Laura R. McNeal (Contact Author)

University of Louisville-Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
502-852-8859 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.louisville.edu/faculty/laura_mcneal

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