What is TENURE
? Teacher tenure is a policy that protects teachers from being fired under the "just cause" rationale. Each individual state has their own tenure system. Tenure provides teachers with protection, thus making it hard for them to get fired. These teachers have all completed a probationary period set by each individual state. The goal of teacher tenure is to protect great teachers from being fired for issues such as personal beliefs or personality conflicts with administrators.https://youtu.be/xpQunBeZd-0
The state of Iowa does not have tenure for teachers. 279.15 of the Iowa code states that the decision to fire any teacher is based on the "just cause" rationale. The Supreme Court has defined "just cause" as "one who directly or indirectly significantly and adversely affects what must be the goal of every school system: height quality education for the district's students." The school district can fire any teacher that is preforming low or that have made no improvements in performance.
Teachers in Missouri can acquire tenure by being employed full time in the same school district for five consecutive years. Teachers will receive their tenure status when they receive their sixth consecutive contract. In Missouri once teachers have acquired tenure they do no not have to sign a new contract each year. Teachers have an indefinite contract with the district. A school board can not terminate a teacher with tenure. They will do a termination hearing when the teacher can retain counsel and the hearing is open to the public.
Comparisons and differences
Both states want the best for their students and teachers. Their number one priority is that students have the best education possible and that each school district provides the best educators. Teachers in both states can be terminated if there is there is enough cause. Iowa and Missouri differ in teacher protections as Iowa does not provide tenure to their teachers. Each year they are assessed on their performance and their improvements in performance. They are not guaranteed a contract each year and can be fired under the "just cause" rationale. Missouri teachers can be tenured after remaining in the same district for five consecutive years. Teachers with tenure can be terminated but is more difficult and they are granted a hearing where there can obtain counsel and defend the accusations against them.
In my opinion I believe teachers in Missouri have better protection. I believe having tenure safe guards teachers, but still holds them accountable for educating students and making sure students perform well. If I was a teacher in Iowa I would constantly be a nervous wreck wondering if they will renew my contract from year to year. I believe that would hinder my teaching and my students would be affected. Even great teachers who have been teaching for 20 years are at risk for losing their jobs. I feel much more protected teaching in Missouri, teaching my five consecutive years and getting tenure. I know there is a great debate that teachers stop teaching after they get tenure, get more relaxed and don't care, but I find this to be untrue. Teachers get into teaching not for the money and recognition, but for the love of teaching and inspiring young minds.