Permanent Employment

The permanent employment law forces administrators to either grant or deny permanent employment to teachers after only 18 months or less—before new teachers even complete their beginner teacher programs and before administrators are able to assess whether a teacher will be effective long-term.

Facts from trial:

  • Under the current permanent employment statute, administrators have less than 16 months to assess the performance of new teachers before granting permanent employment.
  • Number of states in the U.S. that require 3 or more years of experience before teachers can earn tenure: 41
  • Number of states in the U.S. that do not have tenure: 3 (Florida, North Carolina, Rhode Island)

Quotes from trial:

  • “It is my opinion that California law is worse for students than the laws we see in most other states.” – Sandi Jacobs, Vice President and Managing Director of State Policy, National Council on Teacher Quality
  • “There is no way that [16 months in the classroom] is a sufficient amount of time to make, in my opinion, that incredibly important [tenure] judgment.” – Dr.John Deasy, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • “I was going into the profession because I thought it would be a good fit, meaningful, challenging. I wasn’t looking for a guaranteed job.” – Maggie Pulley, Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • “[T]eaching is a challenging profession to learn, and most people in their first two years of teaching are still very much on a steep learning curve…And, honestly, at that point I still have doubts about all of my second-year teachers because they are still very much in the steep learning part of the curve and it always feels like a big risk. I would much rather have more time to be able to decide if somebody is, indeed, going to turn out to be a highly effective teacher.”  – Larissa Adam, Principal, Oakland Unified School District


  • According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, administrators report needing at least three years to accurately evaluate a teacher’s effectiveness. In 2011, California remained one of only 10 states to award teachers tenure after a period of two years or less. Read more.
  • When provided with formal evaluations, 99 percent of teachers in five school districts studied by The New Teacher Project received “satisfactory” ratings, rendering the gaining of tenure virtually automatic and meaningless. Read more.
  • In a recent survey by the National Council on Teacher Quality of teachers working in the Los Angeles Unified School District, 68 percent of teachers reported that there were tenured teachers currently working in their schools who should be dismissed for poor performance. Read more.