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.
Ohio requires that a teacher's tenure status is considered first during reductions in force. In addition, the state requires that preference will not be given "to any teacher based on seniority, except when making a decision between teachers who have comparable evaluations." The implication here is that first, probationary teachers are laid off according to their performance, and then tenured teachers are laid off according to their performance.
SB 5, which included policy that related to this goal, was repealed by referendum in November 2011.
HB 153, sec. 3319. 17; SB 5 sec. 3319.17
Require that districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
While it seems that Ohio will be using teacher performance as a factor in layoff decisions, the state could make it clearer that this is the case. In addition, the state might want to reconsider its emphasis on tenure in determining who is laid off due to the exceptionally long (seven-year) probationary status for teachers in Ohio. Putting a greater emphasis on tenure status rather than teacher performance in this particular situation might undermine the state's efforts to prohibit a "last hired, first fired" layoff policy.
Ohio was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced 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).