lifo and lobby day

Today is the day that the Mayor is going to Albany to lobby for repeal of "Last in First Out". The proposed budget cuts which will affect teachers at all schools is tragic to contemplate. The "last in first out" rule that this fight seems to be centered around is a thorny issue. You would think that a merit system would be an ideal one. Teachers who are determined to be strong professionals can stay in a school no matter when they were hired. No brainer, right? This would be true if test scores were an accurate or equal measure of teacher efficacy. Consider the wide range of students taught in the schools (their native languages, their challenges, their advantages). The metrics can be overridden by principals. This would be good if all principals were stellar leaders, free from self interest, jealousy, budget concerns, or pressure from the DOE for statistical results. There are bad tenured teachers that need to go. There are also extraordinary long term teachers who are a principal's uncomfortable conscience and an expensive liability. Undoubtedly, if this passes, some problematic teachers will get the boot, but so will some of the most talented professionals. When budget pressures are this strong, how can you keep a talented long term and expensive teacher if it means much larger class sizes. I have included links to several interesting articles on a few angles of this issue.

Lobby Day(s): Parents Mobilize For More School Aid

Mayor Bloomberg Headed to Albany to Push Repeal of Last-In, First-Out Teacher Policy

Proposed Layoffs Hit Local Schools Hard

Last Teacher In, First Out? City Has Another Idea

Thoughts on Teacher Seniority and "Last In, First Out"

Group of Young Teachers Petitions to Preserve Seniority Rights

City's New Tenure Plan Uses Test Scores, But For Few Teachers

No More Education Cuts to Our Schools! Our Children Can't Afford Them