"I was encouraged to learn about Florida’s recent efforts to eliminate tenure. It just does not put students first, and with federal due process laws in place, tenure is no longer necessary to sufficiently protect teachers from arbitrary dismissal. Whether you are able to eliminate it or otherwise redefine it to separate tenure from personnel decisions, Florida can be one of the first to disempower this outdated practice that has no correlation to improved student achievement.
Of course, having tenure does not mean a teacher is ineffective. However, most teachers are granted tenure within just a few years. Once a teacher has tenure, in most states that teacher essentially has a job for life regardless of performance, making the practice of tenure a barrier to separating teachers who are ineffective and unable to improve...
As Stanford economist Eric Hanushek’s study on teacher quality indicates, even if we replace just the bottom six percent of teachers with average teachers, we will see dramatic results in student achievement. Tenure makes it very difficult to do even this."
Testimony Before Florida State's Senate Prekindergarten-12 Education Committee, available at www.studentsfirst.org, Feb. 10, 2011