At this time of high unemployment, one group of professionals has no shortage of job security: bad teachers. Few public school principals in the country are able to dismiss an incompetent teacher without a protracted, expensive struggle, and therefore firings rarely happen. Yet researchers agree that hiring good teachers, and ditching bad ones, is the best way to improve education.
Nationwide, 2% or fewer teachers are ever fired or fail to have their contracts renewed because of poor performance. Among tenured teachers – those who get job security, typically after two or three years of satisfactory performance – there are often no dismissals at all, according to the U.S. Education Department.