Layoff Policies Could Diminish Teacher Reform
Donald Nicolas' former principal was contrite when she came to his classroom last year to tell him that he was being let go. Despite his students’ high test scores, the Leon County, Fla., district’s staffing plan demanded reductions—and the principal had to pare nontenured teachers from the rolls first.
With the growing financial strain on districts putting more novices in Mr. Nicolas' unenviable position, researchers and policymakers have begun to question the human-capital costs of "last hired, first fired" layoff policies.
Such layoffs, those experts argue, do not consider teacher effectiveness, meaning that teachers who make vital contributions to school success can nevertheless be among those...
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