Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hill, Marvin F.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Teachers--Tenure--Illinois; Employees--Illinois--Dismissal of


Illinois public school teachers are granted procedural protections upon dismissal from employment. Under the Illinois School Code, a tenured teacher has the right to a hearing on the charges before an impartial hearing officer. The hearing officer, after hearing the arguments of the school board and the teacher, renders a decision as to whether just cause exists for discharging the teacher. The Illinois School Code states the reasons for which a school teacher may be discharged. These causes are, however, broad and general terms undefined by statute. Therefore, determining whether the specific behaviors of a teacher warrant dismissal is left to the school boards, hearing officers, and courts to decide. This thesis examines hearing officer decisions in Illinois elementary and secondary public school teacher dismissals for reasons of incompetency. Hearing officers’ decisions from 1976 to 1984 are examined in an effort to determine conduct that leads hearing officers to rule a school teacher incompetent. Issues relating to determinations of teacher competency are also noted in order to examine their resolution by hearing officers. From the compilation of the hearing officers' decisions, guidelines to be followed by school boards in regard to teacher evaluations and the types of evidence presented at hearings are formulated with the school board's objective of gaining a hearing officer decision upholding a dismissal in mind. General guidelines for hearing officers in ruling on incompetency cases are also stated as a guide to ensuring objectivity and consistency in dismissal decisions. Finally, statutory amendments are proposed that define the term "incompetency" and that state the areas of a teacher's performance that should be examined when determining whether a teacher is incompetent.


Bibliography : pages 112-118.


118 pages




Northern Illinois University

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