Reductions in Force: District of Columbia

Exiting Ineffective Teachers Policy


The state should require that its school districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off when a reduction in force is necessary.

Does not meet goal
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Reductions in Force: District of Columbia results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of District of Columbia's policies

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) ensures that multiple factors are considered when determining which teachers are laid off during a reduction in force, including: 1) previous year's final evaluation, 2) unique skills and qualifications, 3) other contributions to the local education program, and 4) length of service. 

However, this code appears to refer to local district-level policy and not state-level oversight.


Recommendations for District of Columbia

Codify policies at the state level to ensure that seniority is not the only factor used to determine which teachers are laid off and that performance is considered.
It appears that the code cited here does not refer to state-level policy. The District is encouraged to codify its reduction in force requirements in state statute and/or regulation, while also adding provisions that ensure that performance is considered.

State response to our analysis

The District of Columbia recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.

Research rationale

See National Council on Teacher Quality, "Teacher Layoffs: Rethinking 'Last Hired, First-Fired' Policies." (2010); The New Teacher Project, The Case Against Quality-Blind Teacher Layoffs (2011); Boyd, Donald; Lankford, Hamilton; Loeb, Susanna; and Wyckoff, James, "Teacher Layoffs: An Empirical Illustration of Seniority v. Measures of Effectiveness" The Urban Institute, CALDER (2010);  Goldhaber, Dan and Theobold, Roddy, "Assessing the Determinants and Implications of Teacher Layoffs." Center for Education Data & Research, University of Washington-Bothell (2010); Sepe, Christina and Roza, Marguerite, "The Disproportionate Impact of Seniority-Based Layoffs on Poor, Minority Students." Center on Reinventing Public Education (2010).