A study of perceptions among principals, superintendents, and school board members concerning teacher tenure in Tennessee public schools

Lonita Annette Davis Davidson, Tennessee State University

Abstract

A random sample of 100 school board members, 140 superintendents, and 160 public school principals from school districts in the state of Tennessee were selected to participate in a study to provide information regarding the perceived effects of teacher tenure in Tennessee. Participants were sent a 30 item questionnaire designed by the researcher to assess: (1) their perceptions concerning general aspects of the tenure law, (2) their perceptions of tenure that related to improving the quality of education, (3) their perceptions of tenure in providing employment security and protection for teachers, and (4) whether or not the Tennessee Tenure Law needed changing. Eighty one percent of the 400 respondents returned their questionnaires and provided valuable written comments concerning tenure.^ Six of the eight hypotheses proved to be statistically significant when rested using the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests with a.05 level of confidence. The position, gender, size of school district, and years of experience of the respondents as well as improvement in quality education and possible change in the tenure law were the independent variables.^ The study findings produced several conclusions which included: (1) tenure in Tennessee is perceived to protect competent teachers from arbitrary dismissal, (2) school board members in Tennessee are more supportive of abolishing tenure or changing the current tenure law, (3) tenure has not improved the quality of education in Tennessee classrooms, (4) parents in Tennessee believe that tenure protects ineffective or incompetent teachers, and (5) incompetent or ineffective teachers are seldom formally dismissed but rather are transferred from school-to-school within a school district. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations

Recommended Citation

Lonita Annette Davis Davidson, "A study of perceptions among principals, superintendents, and school board members concerning teacher tenure in Tennessee public schools" (1998). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9907842.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI9907842

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