Teacher Layoffs by Senority or Merit

Today both the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register published articles on the PACE/USC poll regarding teacher layoffs. According to this poll a majority of respondents disagreed withe the “last in, first out” policy for teacher layoffs and agreed with the recent Vergara v. California ruling.

As a retired teacher, union member and member of my union’s contract bargaining team I wonder what would replace seniority in deciding layoffs.

First, would teachers be rated as groups: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor, etc., or something like ranking all teachers from first to last? And, would this be by Last CV Cardindividual school, district wide, level taught (Primary, Elementary, Secondary)? Would “extra credit” be given to teachers who also coached or served on committees? (Oh yeah, would these ratings be public and updated with each year’s evaluations?)

Second, would layoffs be decided on a district level or by individual schools or by the level affected?

Third, would this system be imposed state-wide or be left to each individual school district to decide (local control)?

Fourth, would any of this be subject to collective bargaining?

Fifth, would there be any parental input regarding layoffs? For example, parent likes a low-rated teacher and wants to keep him or parent dislikes a high-rated teacher and wants her gone?

I am inclined to believe that this won’t be solved very soon.

HEY! I just had a thought. If we’re going to be rating teachers objectively, we can rate them from first to last for the whole state and, maybe, for the entire country. And, maybe, we can find an objective way to rate politicians, reporters, clerks, waiters, parents, pastors, etc. Then we can publish those statistics.

Or not.