What happens after you lay down the ax?  A bill has been passed in the New York State senate that ends the seniority rule, no longer is it “last in, first out”.  The seniority rule was that the longer you are at a school, the more privileges you receive. (One privilege being that you are the last to be laid off.)  Mayor Bloomberg says: “We need a merit-based system for determining layoffs this spring, and anything short of that is just not a solution to the problem we face.” This is very promising for the education reformers who have been arguing that seniority doesn’t necessarily mean effective teaching, and have been arguing that the seniority system specifically seems problematic in low income schools which need new teachers to fix past problems.  Now that the determining factor for layoffs is gone, how will the state decide what makes a teacher “good” and what makes one “bad”?  There is talk about a point system that will rank teachers based on evaluations but it may take months or years to set regulations for such a process.  In reality, there is no sign of a concrete plan regarding who will get cut first now.  Is this really because there is no plan?  Or is there a plan already out there that is hidden (for now) from the public to alleviate further commotion about the topic all together?

 

Further Reading:

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/06/134275966/pressure-mounts-to-ax-teacher-seniority-rules

 

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