An Examination of Tenure and Teacher Perceptions of Evaluation: Evidence from Tennessee

Luis A. Rodriguez, Karin Gegenheimer, Matthew G. Springer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The utility of teacher evaluation depends on meaningful teacher engagement with evaluation processes. However, critics of traditional tenure policies suggest that tenure nullifies teacher engagement with practices to improve performance. This study investigates whether tenured teachers exhibit perceptions that reflect disengagement with evaluation and feedback and whether perceptions of evaluation vary based on teachers having received tenure under a reformed system that restricts lifetime protections conditional on continual high evaluation scores. Using statewide administrative and survey data from Tennessee, the study employs propensity score methods to isolate differences in perceptions between comparable groups of tenured and untenured teachers. Results show that tenured teachers report more negative perceptions of evaluation in their district; however, this difference is concentrated among those who received permanent tenure status prior to the reformed tenure system. The study concludes by discussing implications and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-292
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Education Human Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • development
  • education
  • educational reform
  • evaluation
  • factor analysis
  • quasi-experimental analysis
  • teacher
  • teacher research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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