Keep the Best Teachers, Not the Oldest Ones

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The WSJ article, “Seniority Moment,” explains the union policy of firing teachers based on “last in, first out” versus “worst out.”   Highlights:

Many states and cities are facing teacher layoffs this year as they scramble to balance their budgets.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seeking Governor Andrew Cuomo’s support to end this “last in, first out” state policy.

A 2010 study … found that seniority-based layoffs disproportionately hurt poor and minority students.

[A]n overhaul of how teachers are retained … requires action by the legislature in Albany, where the United Federation of Teachers has extraordinary influence.

[R]eform [minded] principals will find themselves stuck with careerists who are sticking around mainly for their pensions while Teach for America alumni get the boot.

But students will be harmed if school districts let the best teachers go so as not to offend union power brokers.

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