Behind the Headline: Newark Schools Chief Wants Teacher Performance Included in Layoff Criteria

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Newark Schools Chief Wants Teacher Performance Included in Layoff Criteria
2/24/14 | NJ Spotlight

Behind the Headline
Newark’s Superintendent Rolls Up Her Sleeves and Gets to Work
Winter 2013 | Education Next

Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson is asking the state to waive the rules that prevent the district from considering teacher performance when determining which teachers will be laid off.  New Jersey state law currently requires that layoff decisions be made solely based on years of experience, a practice known as “last in, first out.”

The district is facing a budget crisis and it is possible that hundreds of teachers will need to be laid off. Outgoing state education commissioner Chris Cerf will be asked to decide whether the district can consider teacher effectiveness in addition to seniority when determining the layoffs. Reporter John Mooney notes that the request “faces long political and legal odds – and already loud protests.”

In a study published in Ed Next, Dan Goldhaber and Roddy Theobald found that following a “last in, first out” process for layoffs hurts teacher quality, as the teachers who are fired are significantly more effective than the teachers who would be fired if the decision was based on effectiveness rather than seniority.

Cami Anderson is profiled in the Winter 2013 issue of Ed Next.

-Education Next

HT: @arotherham

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