What Tenure Is

Permanent teachers get warnings and time to improve before being fired, can take their case to a panel and appeal it higher if they disagree with a ruling.

The Debate

Teachers unions say tenure ensures that educators aren’t fired on a whim. Principals and superintendents who oppose it say it’s too hard to remove bad teachers.

The Numbers

Very few teachers are fired in local schools, but school districts and unions alike say the numbers are deceptive, since many faltering teachers leave on their own.

The Big Picture

Weakening tenure is in vogue with the Obama administration, though there is bitter disagreement over whether it would improve schools. California shows no signs of changing it.

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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