The May 30 (Memorial Day) edition of Honolulu’s daily Star Advertiser featured a story on how Hawaii’s Department of Education plans to tighten teacher tenure rules. An excerpt from the story:
The new system is subject to union agreements, and is not expected to be fully phased in for several years.
In the meantime, the DOE has offered principals and vice principals "employee termination training," with lessons that include the due-process rights of tenured teachers and the kinds of support and professional development administrators can give ineffective teachers to help them improve.
Though the title of the training might worry some, DOE officials say they are not necessarily interested in increasing the number of tenured teachers who are fired. (No tenured teachers were terminated in the 2007-08 school year, the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education show; 127 probationary teachers were let go that year.)
Instead, said Yvonne Lau, acting administrator for the DOE performance management section, the idea is to get principals and teachers more comfortable with having difficult conversations about performance, improvement and consequences.
The emphasis of the training — and the new system — is on rewarding effective teachers, helping marginal teachers improve and pushing bad teachers who aren't getting better out of the classroom, the DOE said.