2011 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.
In Pennsylvania, seniority is the sole factor used to determine which teachers are laid off during reductions in force. When layoffs occur, they are made on the "inverse order of seniority within the school entity of current employment."
Sections 11-1124 and 11-1125 of the Public School Code of Pennsylvania
Require that districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
Pennsylvania can still leave districts flexibility in determining layoff policies, but it should do so within a framework that ensures that classroom performance is considered.
Ensure that seniority is not the only factor used to determine which teachers are laid off.
Although it may be useful the state to consider seniority among other criteria, Pennsylvania's current policy puts adult interests before student needs.
Pennsylvania recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state noted that the governor supports and has led efforts with legislators to make legislative changes that would support teacher effectiveness being used to determine reduction-in-force decisions.
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).