Six-Month Newspaper Investigation of Illinois Teacher Tenure. Here's a D-Day type effort you rarely see newspapers put together for an education story. The Small Newspaper Group, publishers of a handful of small, Midwestern papers, filed some 1,500 public records requests with all of Illinois' public school districts to learn how often they attempted to fire a tenured teacher. The results: In the past 18 years, 93 percent of the state's districts have never even tried to fire a tenured teacher. Of the more than 95,000 tenured teachers in the state, an average of only two per year are fired for poor job performance.
Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Ken Swanson had called the notion that you cannot fire a tenured teacher in Illinois "an urban legend." Judge for yourself. The Small Newspaper Group has set up a web site that will contain all the stories in the series, a discussion forum and links to the series' supporting documents. It is located at http://www.thehiddencostsoftenure.com.
I'd sure like to see how Tennessee measures up.