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The Myth of Teacher Tenure


by Diana D'Amico — July 23, 2014

In the stories of exorbitant costs and incompetence, teacher tenure laws have achieved mythic proportions. Judge Rolf Treu’s tentative decision in Vergara v. California may be the death knell for teacher tenure. But what will change as a result? A look to the past reveals that teacher tenure never really protected teachers and nor was it supposed to. Using history as a lens, this commentary explores the origination of tenure policies and the debates that surrounded them. This commentary argues that embedded in the tenure debates is a much larger problem that should concern us all.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: July 23, 2014
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 17620, Date Accessed: 9/21/2014 12:07:18 PM

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About the Author
  • Diana D'Amico
    George Mason University
    E-mail Author
    DIANA D’AMICO, Ph.D., an historian of education, is assistant professor and fellow in the Center for Education Policy and Evaluation at George Mason University. She is currently writing a book titled “The Failure of Reform: A History of Teacher Professionalization Policies.”
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