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 Nevada, new legislation requires that seniority is not be the sole factor in determining which teachers are laid off during a reduction in force and the following factors may also be considered: 1) whether the teacher is employed in a "hard to fill" position, 2) whether a teacher has earned national board certification, 3) the teacher's performance evaluations, 4) the teacher's disciplinary and criminal record, 5) which type of license the teacher has earned, and 6) the degree earned by the teacher (including whether it relates to the subject area in which he or she teaches).
AB 229 NRS Sec. 19.6. Chapter 288
Require that districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
Nevada is commended for taking steps to ensure that seniority is no longer the sole factor in determining which teachers are laid off and for making it possible for teachers' performance evaluations to be considered during reductions in force. The state could strengthen this new policy by making the consideration of classroom performance a requirement rather than an option.
Nevada 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).