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Press Releases

We are committed to making sure educators’ voices are heard. Read our latest statements and press releases.

NYC teachers unveil alternative plan to improve evaluations

March 8, 2015

At a press conference on the steps of City Hall, E4E-New York members offered an alternative plan that would maintain accountability, create a balanced role for testing, and safeguard a principal’s role in future evaluations without having to rely so heavily on test scores (press release).


Educators 4 Excellence–Los Angeles on first round of Board of Education election results

March 4, 2015

“Both for those candidates already elected, and those who face another election in May, we look forward to a conversation focused on the needs of our students, teachers, schools and communities," said E4E-Los Angeles' executive director (press release).


Educators 4 Excellence-New York: New data shows improvements in evaluation system, but greater feedback sorely needed

February 26, 2015

The new system gives teachers more meaningful insights than the previous system did, but New York is still falling short of offering truly valuable evaluations,” said Evan Stone, co-founder and co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence (press release).


Education Experts and Community Leaders Rally Around Recommendations for Closing the Teacher Diversity Gap in Minnesota

February 21, 2015

Educators 4 Excellence-Minnesota (E4E-Minnesota) released recommendations on diversifying Minnesota’s teacher workforce at its first annual summit, “Voices for Equity and Teacher Diversity,” on Saturday, February 21, 2015 (press release).


Educators 4 Excellence–New York teachers: Keep tenure but make it meaningful

February 17, 2015

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

2/17/15

Contact: Joshua Goodman
212.561.8730x226, jgoodman@skdknick.com 

Policy Team Recommendations Would Tie New York Tenure to New Evaluation System, Streamline Due Process Hearings

February 16, 2015 (New York) — As school districts, education leaders and New York’s courts debate the future of teacher tenure, Educators 4 Excellence–New York (E4E) members today issued a series of recommendations to preserve job protections but make tenure designations more meaningful. A team of ten New York City teachers started exploring teachers’ perspectives on current tenure regulations in August 2014, after which they spoke with experts, researched tenure policies and crafted recommendations that will elevate the teaching profession and benefit students.

“Our members want to make sure policymakers understand how teachers themselves would reimagine tenure and due process rather than leave it up to the courts to decide,” said Co-Founder and Co-CEO of E4E Evan Stone. “Teachers want a system that regards tenure as both a necessary protection from unwarranted dismissals and a rigorous, highly regarded milestone of the teaching profession.”

Overwhelmingly, teachers view tenure as a benefit important to attracting and retaining talent and agree that New York City has taken important steps to make tenure more rigorous, but they believe there is still room for improvement. New York City teachers must demonstrate effective teaching practice and meaningful student growth in order to attain tenure. Yet, the current process fails to consistently help teachers identify room for professional growth and areas of excellence in their practice. Instead, opportunities for feedback and growth are found through the annual evaluation system – a process separate from tenure designations. Teachers would tie tenure decisions to evaluation and support systems, as a natural outcome earned through exceptional performance and growth in the first three to five years.

E4E-New York members propose:

  • Tying teacher tenure to the new evaluation system, with three “effective” or two “highly effective” ratings within the first five years leading to tenure. Tenure designations would factor in a sixth year evaluation for teachers who do not meet this standard within five years but do secure high evaluation ratings in their fourth and fifth years.
  • Streamlining steps needed to complete evaluations with steps needed to secure tenure in order to eliminate redundant work on the part of both teachers and administrators, and align feedback and support across both systems.

E4E-NY members expanded on their tenure recommendations by also addressing improvements to due process for teachers accused of misconduct or incompetence. Recommendations focus on ensuring hearings are fair, and that actions resulting from findings center on what is best for students. To that end, E4E-NY members further propose:

  • Automatically dismissing teachers found by an independent hearing officer to have committed serious misconduct against students such as corporal punishment, verbal or physical abuse.
  • Limiting the timeframe for due process hearings to 100 days so that teachers accused of wrongdoing can either return to the classroom or be dismissed more efficiently.
  • Extending hearing officers appointments from one year to at least three years to discourage hearing outcomes from influencing reappointments the following year.

 

 “We are proud of the steps New York City has taken in recent years to strengthen tenure but we also recognize that we still don’t have a fully fair, efficient system that protects teachers and students,” said April Rose, a fourth grade teacher in Queens, N.Y. “Our vision for tenure is to set a high bar and a clear process, and in doing so, allow district and school leaders to focus on more pressing concerns like reducing attrition among educators in their first few years and creating safe, supportive school environments.”

To read the full report, visit http://www.educators4excellence.org/tenure.  

 

 ###

 

For far too long, education policy has been created without a critical voice at the table – the voice of classroom teachers. 

Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, is changing this dynamic by placing the voices of teachers at the forefront of the conversations that shape our classrooms and careers. E4E has a quickly growing national network of educators united by our Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs. E4E members can learn about education policy and research, network with like-minded peers and policymakers and take action by advocating for teacher-created policies that lift student achievement and the teaching profession.

For more information, please visit www.educators4excellence.org.

Download the PDF


Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles teachers: Keep tenure but make it meaningful

February 17, 2015

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

2/17/15

Contact: Joshua Goodman
212.561.8730x226, jgoodman@skdknick.com

 

 

Policy Team Recommendations Would Lengthen Process for Achieving Tenure, Tie Tenure to Other Growth Opportunities

February 16, 2015 (Los Angeles) — As California school districts, education leaders and court systems debate the future of teacher tenure, Educators 4 Excellence-Los Angeles (E4E) members today issued a series of recommendations to preserve the job protections but make tenure designations far more meaningful. A team of nine Los Angeles teachers spent four months researching tenure regulations, surveying other teachers’ perspectives and experiences, as well as those of parents, students, and administrators, and writing their recommendations.

“Policymakers need to hear the nuanced perspectives teachers have about tenure,” said Executive Director of E4E-Los Angeles Ama Nyamekye. “Educators want tenure to provide protections from unwarranted dismissals, but they also want tenure to be a rigorous and highly regarded milestone recognized and celebrated by education leaders, peers and the public.”

Overwhelmingly, teachers view tenure as a benefit important to attracting and retaining talent but agree that current tenure systems do little to encourage excellence or elevate their profession. One teacher on the team with 30-plus years of experience couldn’t point to one professional accomplishment related to her tenure designation.

In California, teachers receive tenure, known as “permanent status” in California, on the first day of their third year in the classroom. As a result, permanent status designations put incredible pressure on school sites to make high-stakes decisions about teachers' careers after just two years. Administrators who do not believe a teacher is ready for permanent status within this timeframe are left with no other option than to dismiss the teacher. In reality, the timeline is even more constrained, as administrators must file paperwork after just 18 months in order to meet state deadlines. In light of this challenging dynamic, team members recommend a longer timeline for determining tenure and a process that accounts for classroom effectiveness, encourages professional development and leads to leadership opportunities.

E4E-Los Angeles members propose:

  • Requiring teachers to obtain a clear credential and earn at least two consecutive “effective” evaluation ratings or higher within five years to earn tenure.
  • Allowing up to two one-year extensions on tenure designations for extenuating circumstances (e.g. extreme illness, administrator turnover or maternity leave).
  • Incorporating multi-measure evaluations, including input from multiple perspectives, and a portfolio demonstrating professional growth in deciding tenure designations.
  • Instituting a regular renewal process.
  • Connecting tenure to new avenues for professional development and career growth.

“Quality teaching and a high-quality education are inextricably linked,” said Laurie Walters, an LAUSD teacher of over 30 years. “Our recommendations in this paper look toward the future, on behalf of our profession and our students, and come to a new understanding of tenure as a meaningful professional milestone that reflects growth and a strong focus on student achievement.” 

To read the full report, visit http://www.educators4excellence.org/tenure.

 ###

 

For far too long, education policy has been created without a critical voice at the table – the voice of classroom teachers. 

Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, is changing this dynamic by placing the voices of teachers at the forefront of the conversations that shape our classrooms and careers. E4E has a quickly growing national network of educators united by our Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs. E4E members can learn about education policy and research, network with like-minded peers and policymakers and take action by advocating for teacher-created policies that lift student achievement and the teaching profession.

For more information, please visit www.educators4excellence.org.

Download the PDF


Educators 4 Excellence teachers: Keep tenure but make it meaningful

February 17, 2015

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

2/17/15

Contact: Joshua Goodman
212.561.8730x226, jgoodman@skdknick.com

Amidst a National Tenure Debate, Teachers in New York and 
Los Angeles Demonstrate Leadership on Improving Tenure, 
Strengthening their Profession

 

February 16, 2015 (New York and Los Angeles) — As school districts, education leaders and court systems across the country debate the future of teacher tenure, Educators 4 Excellence (E4E) members today issued a series of recommendations to preserve job protections but make tenure designations far more meaningful. In the wake of two major court cases related to tenure in California and New York, E4E members in Los Angeles and New York decided to form two local teams at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, and since then, each team has developed an independent report on improving tenure to inform local and national conversations.

“Our members want to make sure policymakers understand how teachers themselves would reimagine tenure rather than leave it up to the courts to decide,” said, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence Evan Stone. “Teachers want a system that regards tenure as both an important protection from unwarranted dismissals and a rigorous, highly regarded milestone within and outside the teaching profession.”

Overwhelmingly, teachers in each region view tenure as a benefit to attracting and retaining talent but agree that current tenure systems do not do enough to encourage excellence or elevate their profession. For example, one member of the Los Angeles team was not aware she had been awarded tenure until she joined the E4E team and inquired. Teachers in both states say tenure should be strategically tied to evaluation and support systems.

Teams in Los Angeles and New York were each comprised of approximately ten active classroom teachers. Since the beginning of this school year, the two teams have been researching tenure regulations, surveying teachers’ perspectives and experiences with tenure, and crafting recommendations specific to their states’ tenure laws.

E4E-New York members propose improving tenure and due process by:

  • Tying teacher tenure to the new evaluation system, with three “effective” or two “highly effective” ratings within the first five years leading to tenure. Tenure designations would factor in a sixth year evaluation for teachers who do not meet this standard within five years but do secure high evaluation ratings in their fourth and fifth years.
  • Streamlining steps needed to complete evaluations with steps needed to secure tenure in order to eliminate redundant work on the part of both teachers and administrators and align feedback and support across both systems.
  • Automatically dismissing teachers found by an independent hearing officer to have committed serious misconduct against students such as corporal punishment, verbal or physical abuse.
  • Limiting the timeframe for due process hearings to 100 days so that teachers accused of wrongdoing can either return to the classroom or be dismissed more efficiently.
  • Extending hearing officers’ appointments from one year to at least three years to discourage hearing outcomes from influencing reappointments the following year.

E4E-Los Angeles members propose improving tenure by:

  • Requiring teachers to obtain a clear credential and earn at least two consecutive “effective” evaluation ratings or higher within five years to earn tenure.
  • Allowing up to two one-year extensions on tenure designations for extenuating circumstances (e.g. extreme illness, administrator turnover or maternity leave).
  • Incorporating multi-measure evaluations, including input from multiple perspectives, and a portfolio demonstrating professional growth in deciding tenure designations.
  • Instituting a regular renewal process.
  • Connecting tenure to new avenues for professional development and career growth.

“We are proud of the steps New York has taken in recent years to strengthen tenure but we also recognize that we still don’t have a fully fair, efficient system that protects teachers and students,” said April Rose, a fourth grade teacher in Queens, N.Y. “Our vision for tenure is to set a high bar and a clear process, and in doing so, allow district and school leaders to focus on more pressing concerns like reducing attrition among educators in their first few years and creating safe, supportive school environments.”

“Quality teaching and a high-quality education are inextricably linked,” said Laurie Walters, an LAUSD teacher of over 30 years. “Our recommendations in this paper look toward the future. On behalf of our profession and our students, we propose a new understanding of tenure as a meaningful professional milestone that reflects growth and an impact on student achievement.” 

“We are thrilled to share our ideas publicly and advocate on behalf of ourselves and colleagues but most importantly, we are eager to bring the tenure debate to the forefront of public discourse through the voices of active classroom teachers,” added Walters.

To read the full reports, visit http://www.educators4excellence.org/tenure

 

 ###

 

For far too long, education policy has been created without a critical voice at the table – the voice of classroom teachers. 

Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, is changing this dynamic by placing the voices of teachers at the forefront of the conversations that shape our classrooms and careers. E4E has a quickly growing national network of educators united by our Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs. E4E members can learn about education policy and research, network with like-minded peers and policymakers and take action by advocating for teacher-created policies that lift student achievement and the teaching profession.

For more information, please visit www.educators4excellence.org.

Download the PDF

 


Educators 4 Excellence praises Obama for increased focus on equity in federal education budget

February 2, 2015

"This budget emphasizes resources for students and classrooms most in need," said Evan Stone, co-Founder and co-CEO of Educators 4 Excellence (press release).


Educators 4 Excellence-NY: Graduation rates show positive growth, but more work needed

December 18, 2014

“Gains in the graduation rate are worth celebrating and we need to applaud all the hard work of the students, teachers and parents. But the increase needs to be kept in context,” said Jonathan Schleifer, Executive Director of E4E-New York (press release).


Educators 4 Excellence-MN thanks departing Minneapolis Superintendent Dr. Bernadeia Johnson for work on behalf of teachers and students

December 16, 2014

“Over the past four and a half years, Bernadeia Johnson has been a friend to teachers, and, most importantly, to students,” said Madaline Edison, Executive Director of E4E-Minnesota (press release).

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