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.
In Louisiana, several factors must be used to determine which teachers are laid off during a reduction in force. The state requires "certification, if applicable; seniority in the system; tenure of employees; and academic preparation, if applicable, within the employee's field" to be considered.
Louisiana Revised Statute 17:81.4 (D)
Ensure that seniority is not the only factor used to determine which teachers are laid off.
Unlike most states, Louisiana requires districts to use multiple factors in determining which teachers are laid off and does not make seniority the sole factor. However, the criteria currently in use are problematic in that they are poor proxies for what matters most: a teacher's effectiveness. If the state wants to continue to use certification, seniority, tenure and academic preparation, it should do so while also ensuring that teacher effectiveness is given due weight.
Require that districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
Louisiana should give districts the flexibility to determine their own layoff policies, but it should do so within a framework that ensures that classroom performance is considered.
Louisiana recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.
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).