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Policy should require that best teachers be retained

August 20, 2012
The Mining Journal

When public school districts lay off teachers, those with the least time on the job usually are the first to go.

Often, that is written into contracts between districts and their employees' unions.

That doesn't make sense in the context of providing the best schools we can for America's children, of course. The best teachers ought to be retained, the worst handed their walking papers.

That is simple common sense, of course. But a study by the University of Washington has confirmed it.

Researchers there looked into 1,717 teacher layoffs throughout their state during the past two years. They compared seniority with evaluations of teachers' effectiveness and found that many of those laid off were better than teachers who were retained.

Until public policy makers scrap seniority as a consideration in teacher layoffs, then, students will suffer from the current illogical practice.



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