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 West Virginia, seniority is the sole factor used to determine which teachers are laid off during a reduction in force. Following the release of teachers on temporary permits, "the employee with the least amount of seniority shall be properly notified and released from employment."
West Virginia Code 18A-4-7a
Require that districts consider classroom performance as a factor in determining which teachers are laid off during reductions in force.
West Virginia should give districts the flexibility to determine their own 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 to consider seniority among other criteria, West Virginia's current policy puts adult interests before student needs.
West Virginia 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).