Weber Joins Teacher Groups to Introduce Teacher and Student Success Act

Monday, March 20, 2017

SACRAMENTO – California teacher groups have joined forces with Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. to ensure that teachers seeking the professional milestone of tenure have the time and support they need. As California faces a growing teacher shortage, this teacher-crafted policy solution will help ensure that those entering the profession are recognized and rewarded for their hard work and dedication to their students.

With the sponsorship of Teach Plus and Educators for Excellence, Weber has introduced AB 1220, legislation that would extend the current time to tenure from two years to three, and even provide optional fourth and fifth years, with additional mentoring and other professional development resources.

“For students to succeed, we must provide teachers with what they need to achieve success in the classroom,” Weber said. “AB 1220 will provide the extra time and support essential for teachers to demonstrate success and be recognized for their hard work.”

Currently, California teachers only have two years in which to demonstrate effectiveness in the classroom. This timeline is shortened to 18 months with the March 15th deadline for districts to offer tenure. If a teacher does not demonstrate classroom readiness before a tenure decision can be made, they don’t get a second chance in that district. AB 1220 would provide that second chance for teachers who need a little more time.

"Teachers will tell you that they need more than two years to develop and to earn tenure,” said Lester Vasquez, 2013-14 LAUSD Teacher of the Year and a Teach Plus California Teaching Policy Fellow.  “By raising the benchmark for tenure, AB 1220 benefits teachers, principals and students in California’s public schools.”

“As educators, we must take the lead in elevating the prestige and aspirations for our profession. AB 1220 makes tenure a more meaningful professional milestone that is focused on how teachers grow and develop as practitioners,” said Phylis Hoffman, a National Board Certified teacher of 20 years and member of Educators For Excellence. “This bill has the potential to elevate not only the teaching profession, but also the students we serve.”

California has one of the shortest times for a teacher to demonstrate classroom readiness and achieve permanent status. Forty-two states provide teachers three to five years in the classroom to demonstrate success and earn tenure

A statewide survey of 506 teachers in traditional California schools found that 85 percent of teachers think that tenure decisions should be made after at least three years of classroom instruction. Only 15 percent of teachers found California’s current two-year timeline was sufficient.

AB 1220 will be heard by the Assembly Committee on Education in early April.