the employment relationship - william allan kritsonis, phd

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William Allan Kritsonis, PhD (Revised Summer, 2009) William H. Parker Leadership Academy Hall of Honor In 2008, Dr. Kritsonis was inducted into the William H. Parker Leadership Academy Hall of Honor, Graduate School, Prairie View A&M University – The Texas A&M University System. He was nominated by doctoral and master’s degree students. Dr. Kritsonis Lectures at the University of Oxford, Oxford, England In 2005, Dr. Kritsonis was an Invited Visiting Lecturer at the Oxford Round Table at Oriel College in the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. His lecture was entitled the Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning. Dr. Kritsonis Recognized as Distinguished Alumnus In 2004, Dr. William Allan Kritsonis was recognized as the Central Washington University Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Education and Professional Studies. Dr. Kritsonis was nominated by alumni, former students, friends, faculty, and staff. Final selection was made by the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Recipients are CWU graduates of 20 years or more and are recognized for achievement in their professional field and have made a positive contribution to society. For the second consecutive year, U.S. News and World Report placed Central Washington University among the top elite public institutions in the west. CWU was 12th on the list in the 2006 On-Line Education of “America’s Best Colleges.” Educational Background Dr. William Allan Kritsonis earned his BA in 1969 from Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington. In 1971, he earned his M.Ed. from Seattle Pacific University. In 1976, he earned his PhD from the University of Iowa. In 1981, he was a Visiting Scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, and in 1987 was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California. Doctor of Humane Letters In June 2008, Dr. Kritsonis received the Doctor of Humane Letters, School of Graduate Studies from Southern Christian University. The ceremony was held at the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. Professional Experience Dr. Kritsonis began his career as a teacher. He has served education as a principal, superintendent of schools, director of student teaching and field experiences, invited guest professor, author, consultant, editor-in-chief, and publisher. Dr. Kritsonis has earned tenure as a professor at the highest academic rank at two major universities. Books – Articles – Lectures - Workshops Dr. Kritsonis lectures and conducts seminars and workshops on a variety of topics. He is author of more than 600 articles in professional journals and several books. His popular book SCHOOL DISCIPLINE: The Art of Survival is scheduled for its fourth edition. He is the author of the textbook William Kritsonis, PhD on Schooling that is used by many professors at colleges and universities throughout the nation and abroad. In 2008, Dr. Kritsonis coauthored the textbook A Statistical Journey: Taming of the Skew. The book has been adopted by professors in many colleges and universities throughout the nation. It was published by the Alexis/Austin Group, Murrieta, California. In 2007, Dr. Kritsonis’ version of the book of Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (858 pages) was published in the United States of America in cooperation with partial financial support of Visiting Lecturers, Oxford Round Table (2005). The book is the product of a collaborative twenty-four year effort started in 1978 with the late Dr. Philip H. Phenix. Dr. Kritsonis was in continuous communication with Dr. Phenix until his death in 2002. In 2007, Dr. Kritsonis was the lead author of the textbook Practical Applications of Educational Research and Basic Statistics. The text provides practical content knowledge in research for graduate students at the doctoral and master’s levels. In 2009, Dr. Kritsonis’ b


  • 1. The Employment Relationship
    • William Allan Kritsonis, PhD




  • What Is Due Process?
  • An established course for judicial proceedings or other governmental activities designed to safeguard the legal rights of the individual. Due process dictates that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, and it also states that the law must be fair and clearly stated to prevent arbitrary actions by the state.
  • Fifth & Fourteenth Amendment
  • Perry v. Sindermann(1972)
  • Contractual employee has a property right in the job during the term of the contract. Any effort of the school to terminate the contract prior to its stated date of expiration is a deprivation of property. Thus, some amount of due process of required.Whether the employee is a continuingcontract teacher with twenty years on the job or a first-year probationary teacher, the constitutional analysis and the constitutional right to due process are the same.


  • How Much Process Is Due?
  • As for the level of formality of due process in a typical employee termination case, the essentials are:
  • Be advised of the cause or causes of the termination in sufficient detail to fairly enable him/her to show any error that may exist;
  • Be advised of the names and the nature of the testimony of witnessed against him/her;
  • At a reasonable time after such advice, be given a meaningful opportunity to be heard in his or her own defense; and
  • Be given an opportunity for a hearing before a tribunal that both possesses some academic expertise and has an apparent impartiality


  • At-Will Employment
  • Non-Chapter 21 Contracts
  • Probationary Contracts
  • Term Contracts
  • Continuing Contracts
  • Third-Party Independent Contract Educators


  • Simply means that either the employer or employee is free to end the relationship at any time and for almost any reason. The employee has no contractual obligation to work for the employer for a set period of time. In addition, the employer does not guarantee the employee continued employment for a set period of time as well.


  • Given to new employees who are usually first year teachers who are fully certified. (Ch. 21 TEC)
  • Educator will serve a probationary period that is basically the same in all school districts throughout the state. After designated period, educators will split into term or continuing contract employees.
  • Probationary period can be as long as three years, except for teachers coming to the districtafter having been employed in public education for five of the eight preceding years. The teacher will be employed on a contract that cannot exceed one year in length. Thus, in the typical situation, the teacher will serve under three consecutive one-year probationary contracts.
  • Probationary teachers can resign without penalty up to forty-five days before the first day of instruction.


  • Certain employees are entitled to a written contract under the Texas Education Code
  • According to 21.002 of the TEC, school districts are required to employ each classroom teacher, principal, librarian, nurse, or counselor under a Ch. 21 contract, meaning a probationary, a term, or a continuing contract.


  • Determined by local school board
  • Any non-probationary Ch. 21 contract for a fixed term
  • Length of contract can be up to five school years.
  • Key factor: lays out a beginning and ending date
  • Resign forty-five days prior to instruction


  • Automatically rolls over from one year to the next without the necessity of board action
  • No specific length of time
  • Contract remains in effect until the teacher resigns, retires, is terminated, or is returned to probationary status


  • Private companies offered to provide teachers for public school districts
  • Baby boom generation of teachers nearing retirement (TRS)
  • Retire, begin drawing benefits, and then go to work at a salary equivalent to or better than what they had been making

12. 13.

  • Power to adopt rules specify the various classes for educators certification.
  • The rules for out state educators.
  • The disciplinary procedures by which the certification may be revoked.
  • SBEC must appoint an advisory committee withrespect to each class of educators certification.
  • Rulesadopted by SBEC and review by SBOE
  • SBOE is limited by the provision of the SBEC.
  • SBOE must vote and can only reject by two thirds vote.


  • 14 members only eleven of them can vote.
  • TEA employee, Texas higher education coordinating board member, dean of the college of education
  • 4 public school teacher
  • 2 public administrators
  • 1 public school counselor
  • 4 citizens


  • Requires that all teacher be hired on a high qualified status.
  • 2005-2006 schools requirements for NCLB applied to all school receiving NCLB fund.


  • Employees under state law may not hold two legally incompatible offices.
  • ex. Being a teacher and a trustee
  • Hiring immediate family
  • Requiring that employees live with the district


  • Laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, sex, religion, age, national origin, and disability apply to all major employers, including Texas public school districts.
  • First, law apply to all employees, regardless of contractual status.
  • Second, the laws thatprohibit discrimination haveimplications for hiring process itself.
  • Third, sexual harassment
  • Fourth, there is no law that requires school districts eitherto advertise vacancies or to post them internally.


  • Provision # 1
  • School board and the Superintendent
  • Provision # 2
  • Campus principal and central office


  • SBEC now has the duty to obtain criminal history record information on all holders of and applicants for educator certification.
  • The school district are no longer required such background check.
  • School districts will still do back ground checks on noncertified employees and volunteers
  • When school district will do background checks on contracts with another entity for transportation.


  • At-will Employees
  • Non-chapter 21 Contracts
  • Probationary Contracts
  • Term Contracts
  • Continuing contracts
  • 3 rdparty independent contractors
  • The independent hearing systems
  • A few final thoughts on Good Clause
  • Constructive Discharge


  • Contract renewal/nonrenewal do not apply
  • All federal and state mandates prohibiting discrimination apply with equal force
  • Due process does not apply, no property interest
  • Can at-will employees be terminated for no reason at all?
  • Can be terminated for any legally permissible reason
  • Can be terminated at anytime
  • No constitutional requirement of predetermination due process


  • May file a grievance or lawsuit asserting termination impermissibly motivated
  • If employee does seek legal recourse:
    • Must show something more than unfair treatment
    • Burden on employee to show employers action illegal


  • Termination determined by the school board
  • Not subject to the independent hearing system or statutory nonrenewal process
  • If contract contains a specific term, employee is entitled to constitutional due process


  • Intent to make easy to terminate the relationship between the teacher and school district
  • Board simply gives notice to teacher of its decision to terminate employment
  • No specific reason is required
  • Law does not require district to afford teacher a hearing, although they could choose to do so
  • Boards decision is final and may not be appealed


  • Does not prevent teacher from filing suit alleging a wrongful discharge
  • Contract can be non-renewed even with the superintendents recommendation
  • Immediate termination rather than waiting
    • District must provide teacher with formal due process
    • Must demonstrate good reason for ending relationship early


  • State law permits early termination,