Georgia House education leaders have introduced a bill that bases all teacher layoffs primarily on performance, something that most districts already consider. But HB 257, sponsored by Democrat Alisha Thomas Morgan of Cobb and Republican Ed Lindsey of Atlanta, makes it a statewide requirement.
The law mandates school districts create workforce reduction policies that “provide that when selecting positions to be eliminated, the local board shall consider as the primary factor the performance of the teacher over the past three years. Such performance shall include documented job performance, classroom management, absenteeism, tardiness, handling of extra school responsibilities, and student academic performance. Secondary factors may include length of service and other factors as determined by the local board. For teachers that have not completed three years of service, such teacher’s performance shall be extrapolated from the service that he or she has completed.”
I am not sure of the necessity for this law as districts are able now to consider performance. For example, Atlanta’s policy says: Factors that may be considered in the reduction-in-force plan for prioritizing employees within each job classification for reduction include, but are not limited to, the professional expertise, effectiveness/student performance growth, the employee performance evaluation, the employee record of attendance and the employee professional discipline record. Where demonstrated competence and expertise are determined to be equal among employees, other factors such as tenure status, level of certification, length of continuous service with the district and random tiebreakers may be considered among others in order to make recommendations for the termination or downgrading of employment.
I understand that bills such as 257 are laying the groundwork for performance pay, but wonder about whether any school systems here religiously follow what Michelle Rhee disdains as the “last in, first out” policy of teacher layoffs? Are talented young teachers being ousted in favor of longtime veterans who are far less effective?
Take a look at the bill. It is not much longer than what I copied here.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog