Reductions in Force: Hawaii

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: Hawaii results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:

Analysis of Hawaii's policies

In Hawaii, the factor used to determine which teachers are laid off during a reduction in force is a teacher's seniority. "Dismissals due to a decrease in the number of pupils or for causes over which the department has no control shall begin with those teachers with the least number of years of service."


Recommendations for Hawaii

Require that classroom performance is considered in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
Although it may be useful to consider seniority among other criteria, Hawaii's current policy puts adult interests before student needs by not considering teacher effectiveness.

State response to our analysis

Hawaii had no comment on this goal.

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).