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Should Schools Lay Teachers Off Based on Seniority or Quality?

Fef 2012/02/22 09:02:16
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My wife and I attended a school board meeting with nearly 100 other parents, teachers and administrators. The board has to lay off nearly 80 teachers because of California's budget crisis.

The school board told us to write letters asking our representatives in Sacramento (California's state capitol) to not cut the education budget. The board spent the rest of the time discussing the layoff selection process -- they would lay off teachers based on seniority. Very little discussion -- and no serious discussion -- covered the concept of merit because the board said they have to abide by "the ed code."

The "ed code" infuriates me because it does not give the school administrators and parents discretion in deciding which teachers will teach our kids. The rule of seniority gives zero value to the quality or the results of a teacher. The rule simply determines that the newest teachers get dismissed first ("LIFO - Last In, First Out").

The administrators showed their disappointment in losing teachers and a smaller budget because it means more kids per class, more furlough days, less time in classrooms... But the administrators didn't share my frustration over the selection process. They defended their co-workers and personnel as all equally excellent by proudly and repeatedly saying, "They're all good teachers" and "old teachers can be good teachers." I didn't disagree with either statement. However, that did not address my point: better teachers will lose their jobs and the second best teachers will give our kids a lesser quality education.

The board and administrators seemed very complacent about the rule. They pointed toward Sacramento and blamed "the ed code."

Nobody wrote these codes in stone. We can change the codes to save our education system and children, right?

Apparently, nobody wants to combat "Mr. Ed." Nobody wants to challenge the people responsible for these codes: the teachers unions.

It doesn't surprise me that California's education continues to decline.

Education will suffer when parents, teachers, and administrators lose control over the education of our kids at a local level.

Education will suffer when administrators let Big Labor dictate how to educate our kids.

Watch this trailer of "Waiting for Superman" to learn more about our failing education system.

Compare that with the NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin 2009 - "It's Money & Power, Not Education"
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Top Opinion

  • Franklin 2012/02/22 15:13:25
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Franklin
    +9
    LOL lay off teachers ….we have been fooled before we even start to talk about this one. Schools are all TOP-HEAVY and over paid , so the immediate jump to lay off teachers is a scam . They could cut management and contributions to Unions ...but no one will ever even talk about that. No its always we have to cut (in a year when budgets go up by 10% anyway) and its always teachers as that is the easy way to scare people into dumping more money on a fatally flawed system-

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  • JoeBlo 2012/03/01 21:15:39
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    JoeBlo
    At first, I thought it said 'senility'.

    Just another example of how unions destroy America. They force ridiculous rules on the public in the same way Affirmative Action has decreased the quality of Firefighters and Law Enforcement.

    Notice how those are the three occupations 0bie is always trying to 'save' and use as an excuse, while at the same time having no regard for keeping the best available... employed.
  • Kat 2012/02/28 19:20:49
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Kat
    +1
    We need good teachers
  • Louis Contreras 2012/02/25 00:38:02
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Louis Contreras
    +1
    In an era of cost cutting and staff reductions only the best should be protected from dismissal.
  • Freedom4 2012/02/24 14:48:57
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Freedom4
    +1
    I new york, because of the unions, they have 'rubber rooms" where they have to pay teachers to not teach because they are a danger to students and cannot be fired. Yet they lay off new aspiring teachers instead. The unions are destroying the education system. They do not give a darn about the children.
  • Bloody Brey 2012/02/24 09:17:46
  • Jackal 2012/02/24 03:57:33
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Jackal
    +1
    Watch "Waiting for Superman", and you will see why...
  • Fef Jackal 2012/03/01 19:48:13
    Fef
    I've read and seen excerpts of "Waiting for Superman" and I want to see the whole film.
  • Jackal Fef 2012/03/02 01:12:56
    Jackal
    Yeah, you will realize how much you have been screwed over and your parents were unaware of this screwed up system. It hits on things like the Tenure system that is supporting bad teachers. A lady in DC became the head of the board of education and she tried to get rid of the Tenure system which gives teachers a chance to make more money, but in return they will get rid of the Tenure system. The teacher's union turned it down because they still want the job security. But the thing is, why should bad teachers keep their job. They are pretty much sitting on their tails collecting money without putting in any work. It is all screwed up. Then you will see why the United States Education system is piss poor compared to other Education Systems in the world.
  • John Galt jr or Ron/jon 2012/02/24 01:58:25
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    John Galt jr or Ron/jon
    +1
    Did we run out of students again?
  • GOP Poison 2012/02/23 21:11:04
    Layoff Teachers based on LIFO (Seniority)
    GOP Poison
    +1
    Everyone on this post knows that when a sweet young thing with a flirty eye and nice legs comes in and the superintendant or principle has to lay someone off it will not be her.
  • Fef GOP Poison 2012/03/01 19:48:56
    Fef
    you have very little confidence in school administrators

    Your distrust of people at the local level leads to Big Government and disenfranchised parents.
  • GOP Poison Fef 2012/03/01 20:24:12
    GOP Poison
    I have been around enough to know that un-checked authority leads to favoritism and discrimination.What you on the right do not understand is that the greatest thing that unions do is fight discrimination and give people job security because of their seniority. Even those on management like this about unions because it takes them off the spot when deciding who gets laid off and who doesn't.I have seen works managers children laid off because thatey did not have the seniority to stay during a difficult time. in non union work areas the longer you are there the closer you are to the door.Just when someone works their way into decent wages they are "let go" so someone can be hired for half the money.
  • ♥ilia rose♥ 2012/02/23 19:40:52
    Layoff Teachers based on LIFO (Seniority)
    ♥ilia rose♥
    +1
    Just because a teacher’s been teaching at a school for a long time does not mean, he/she is a good teacher. Teacher quality is based on test scores, and seniorities, have alottt to do with that... seniorities, can gain you the best “high functioning” class. The system is built on favoritism, and those favored get some unbelievable cool benefits! Like tenor (corrupted job protection), and plastic surgery (NY school district)! In reality, there really shouldn’t be any cuts, there should be a re-evaluation of how the money is getting treated…
  • Fef ♥ilia r... 2012/03/01 19:49:25
    Fef
    testing.... testing.... reality check...
  • ♥ilia r... Fef 2012/03/02 06:30:12
    ♥ilia rose♥
    There has to be another way to measure a teachers quality, because testing sucks, and it is so unaccurate!
  • Michael 2012/02/23 19:26:21
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Michael
    +2
    How about telling the teachers to grade the students on how old they are, making the oldest one in the class getting the better grade. Same thinking as Sacramento! No wonder things are so screwed up. We are just throwing money at a problem that money won't fix. Unless we "retire" the bad teachers totally.
  • Cathy 2012/02/23 16:47:22
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Cathy
    +1
    Teachers that doesn't perform well need to be laid off, quality is a must for our children.
  • Wahvlvke 2012/02/23 14:00:09
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Wahvlvke
    +1
    The ed code is more like union dictate.
  • Vive le Canada Libre!!! 2012/02/23 08:18:33 (edited)
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Vive le Canada Libre!!!
    +1
    It really is coming to the point where teachers should have a Ph.D. But, if the teacher is no good, then you should get rid of them. You shouldn't get rid of someone who can actually teach, who cares if they have been there for 30 or more years. That means they have the experience. Maybe, if people would cut the politicians salaries, cause well most of them are already millionaires, then that money can go to help improve the education system and a host of other things.

    P.S. I am a labour union supporter.
  • Balladeer-PWCM-POTL 2012/02/23 06:44:43
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Balladeer-PWCM-POTL
    the first time a teaches teaches any crap like 'obama is good' they should be fired on the spot...personally i would prefer chasing them out of the building firing at their feet to motivate them
  • chgo 2012/02/23 06:20:17
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    chgo
    +1
    Look at what have the conservatives have done to education in the red states. They're atrocious. Keep them out of education altogether. Busting unionism is the same reason they always want to do away with education dollars. Republicans like their Americans stupid!
  • Lisa 2012/02/23 06:16:56
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Lisa
    +1
    Not doing the job then don't get paid for it anymore ! No special favors to teachers who don't love teaching , they can go sell shoes.
  • Fef 2012/02/23 06:15:47
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Fef
    +1
    If the Teachers Unions managed the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, they would layoff 23-year-old, 2nd-year-starter superstar Blake Griffen (averaging 21.2 points-per-game) and keep 37-year-old Derek Fisher (avg 5.2 ppg).
    blake griffen fisher

    If the Teachers Union managed the classroom, they would give good grades to the oldest kids in the class and fail the youngest kids.

    If the Teachers Union managed healthcare, they would institute death panels and Logan's Run.
    logans run
  • Gregaj7 2012/02/23 06:11:23
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Gregaj7
    +1
    Fef: Why are you not Home-Schooling your children?!? I know you can afford to do so. I also know you and you wife have the brains to do so!
  • Fef Gregaj7 2012/02/23 06:17:56
    Fef
    +1
    Thanks.... we have a great school for now. It gets top marks. But it won't last if they act like cowards to the Labor Unions.

    I'll have my kids outta' there before it comes crashing down.
  • Gregaj7 Fef 2012/02/23 06:40:30
    Gregaj7
    NEA's Bob Chanin is a lying BLEEP!! Back in the 1990's I lived in the Seattle area where the NEA spent dues in ways that their membership sued them over. The public system is failing by design (you knew that already), and isn't aiming to be fixed, due to who is ordering that failure (Illuminati/UN/Vatican). The ignorant are MUCH easier to control than the intelligent.
  • Dee 2012/02/23 06:06:17
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Dee
    +1
    My preference would be the better qualified teachers would keep their jobs while those that just take up space and pick up a paycheck get the boot.

    Yeah. I know I'm dreaming.
  • jakep51 2012/02/23 05:05:06
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    jakep51
    +1
    But then that's completely contrary to the (Teachers) Union. Seniority is all that matters in a Union, well that and how well you suck up.
  • Willl 2012/02/23 03:53:38
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Willl
    +1
    No brainer there.
    When you shop for a new car, do you go by seniority of the manufacturer or performance of the car?
    When you are about to have an operation and have a choice of the doctor, do you select your surgeon by the time s/he spent operating or the results of operations s/he performed?
  • Jo 2012/02/23 03:30:30
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Jo
    +1
    I agree that it should be this way, but the senority thing has long since been decided to be the most "fair" to those that are losing thier jobs; most layoffs are done that way, the main reason, I'm sure, is because what one person considers a quality teacher another may not, and so they probably consider that to be unreliable.
  • Mark 2012/02/23 03:16:36
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Mark
    +2
    The problem is, what criteria are we using to determine whether a teacher has higher quality and merit?
  • EWH53~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/02/23 03:05:55
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    EWH53~POTL~PWCM~JLA
    +1
    Quality should be the main factor in retaining a teacher.
  • JustTheFacts 2012/02/23 02:58:31
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    JustTheFacts
    +1
    Quality, quality, quality...
  • Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F 2012/02/23 02:27:27
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F
    +2
    There a too many teachers who can't or won't teach so let's keep the ones who do!
  • ed 2012/02/23 02:19:25
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    ed
    +2
    do you think if Calif.didn't spend so much on the illegals then they wouldn't have to lay off any teachers.
  • Zak Smith 2012/02/23 02:10:10
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Zak Smith
    +2
    Both areas should be considered, but the deal breaker should be quality.
  • ed Zak Smith 2012/02/23 02:22:56
    ed
    why lose any deport the illegals instead.
  • BILL 2012/02/23 01:19:37
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    BILL
    +1
    To many older teacher's lose their passion for teaching, and since they have seniority there is no real fear of losing their jobs for poor performance
  • Sister Jean 2012/02/23 00:34:36
    Layoff Teachers based on Quality and Merit
    Sister Jean
    +4
    Quality
  • AL 2012/02/23 00:18:32
    Layoff Teachers based on LIFO (Seniority)
    AL
    +1
    Layoffs are really the best way to get rid of the dead beats-if its done RIGHT!
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