How do Teachers Respond to Tenure?
In most states, K-12 teachers receive tenure after serving a probationary period of several years. Teachers with tenure, or a continuing contract, are guaranteed due process before they can be dismissed from their job. I use a restricted use version of the 2007 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) to estimate the effect of tenure on teacher behavior and time allocation at school and outside of school. Estimates are obtained by exploiting the cross-state variation in the probationary period length of novice teachers within a difference-in-difference framework. I find that in the year that teachers are evaluated for tenure, they spend significantly more of their own money on classroom materials. Relative to the tenure evaluation year, once teachers receive tenure, they communicate less with students and parents outside of class and participate less in school and district committees. In those districts where at least one probationary teacher is fired, I find that teachers reallocate their teaching time. Immediately after receiving tenure, they spend less time teaching math and more time teaching English.
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