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 Texas, new legislation considers teacher performance—as measured by "teacher appraisals"—as the primary criterion for districts to use in determining which continuing contract teachers are laid off during reductions in force. "Other criteria as determined by the board" are also considered.
Texas Education Code Sec. 21.157
Require that districts consider classroom performance and that seniority is not the sole factor for all teachers in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
Texas's policy considers performance for teachers on continuing contracts, but it does not apply to those teachers on term or probationary contracts. The state should consider expanding this policy to apply to all teachers in the state.
Texas was helpful in providing NCTQ with the facts necessary for 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).