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More State Officials Take Aim at Tenure

Tough-talking New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has finally gone ahead and said that he wants to end teacher tenure in favor of five-year renewable teacher contracts, the Wall Street Journal reports. And In Idaho, state Superintendent Tom Luna has also advocated eliminating tenure and basing part of a teacher's salary on performance, the Idaho Statesman reveals.

In doing so, both men join officials in Florida and Wyoming (along with former D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee) who also want to do away with tenure as it's currently conceived.

Christie's announcement isn't a particular surprise given all of his back-and-forth with the New Jersey Education Association. Not long ago, the NJEA presented its own plan to expedite due process hearings to 90 days, but that doesn't seem to have made much headway with Christie.

Leaders in two other states have tenure-reform proposals: Illinois officials want to tie tenure-granting to student achievement, and Utah leaders hope to make it easier to dismiss teachers with several years of poor student growth. Those changes are similar to the ones Delaware and Colorado, respectively, made last year during the run-up to the Race to the Top competition.

Has that competition emboldened more extreme action or is this a function of changing political winds?

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