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 Michigan, new legislation considers teacher effectiveness—measured by a performance evaluation—as the top criterion for districts to use in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force. The state articulates that "a teacher who has been rated as ineffective under the performance evaluation system is not given any preference that would result in that teacher being retained over a teacher who is evaluated as minimally effective, effective, or highly effective." A teacher's effectiveness is based on such factors as evidence of student growth, a teacher's demonstrated pedagogical skills, classroom management, attendance and disciplinary records, relevant accomplishments and contributions, and relevant special training. When these factors distinguishing two or more employees are equal, length of service may be used as a tie-breaker.
2011 PA 102
Michigan 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).