Thursday, August 13, 2015

$$-based Layoffs

Way back in 2011, Education Next published one more piece in the continued battle against teacher seniority. "Managing the Teacher Workforce" follows the standard track of the genre-- it defines "managing" as "deciding who to fire" as if that were the only important management function, and it doesn't consider a single effect of a school system in which teachers must combat each other to hold onto jobs, or how much crazier that competition becomes if they must battle each other with the chaos-fueled random noodles of VAM-sauced testing.

But it does offer this one moment of clarity and honesty about what the fight against seniority is all about.

However, were districts to adopt policies that allowed admin­istrators to dismiss teachers according to their effec­tiveness rather than their seniority, they could lay off fewer teachers, achieve the same budgetary savings, and increase the overall efficacy of their teaching force.

Got that? If we could just lay off teachers based on how much they cost, we could lay off fewer teachers to get the same budget cuts.

The report doesn't discuss the implications of this factor, either. What does it do to teaching to turn it into the very definition of a dead-end career in which the minute you start to make the big money, your career is over?

Nope. Only one insight interested the "researchers"-- if we cut the more expensive teachers, we can save money without leaving ourselves quite so short-handed. Granted this was back in 2011. If anybody sees any evidence that the anti-seniority crowd has changed their mind on this, please let me know, but I won't be holding my breath.

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