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ERIC Number: ED516505
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-13
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 41
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Worm in the Apple? The Implications of Seniority-Based Teacher Layoffs. NRI Working Paper 2011-01
Goldhaber, Dan
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Stories abound about the staffing cuts that will have to be made currently, and in the next couple of years, as the ripple effects of the economic crisis impact local and state education budgets. Major budget cuts make teacher layoffs a near inevitability. This raises two very timely questions: what now determines which teachers are laid off, and is that policy best for students? A significant body of empirical research shows that the specific teachers to which students are assigned can have dramatic effects on their achievement. Research by economist Eric Hanushek (1992), for instance, estimates that the difference between having a very effective versus a very ineffective teacher can be as much as a full year's learning growth. So are the significant differences in teacher effectiveness part of the equation when making tough decisions about which teachers will lose their jobs? The research described in this paper suggests that the answer to this question is a definitive "no." Empirical analysis reflects what is hard-wired into collective bargaining agreements (CBAs): seniority is the most important factor when deciding which teachers are laid off. Not only does this seniority-driven system not consider teacher effectiveness, but it also results in substantially more teachers being laid off to achieve specific budget targets because senior teachers, whose jobs are protected, earn more than novice teachers. This research also tellingly finds that the novice teachers laid off are often more effective than the senior teachers left behind. Looking at Washington state data on teacher effectiveness and teacher layoffs, this research finds that current layoff policy could lead to students losing 2 to 4 months of learning in the year after the layoffs. (Contains 2 tables, 4 figures and 33 endnotes.)
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site: http://www.aei.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Identifiers - Location: Washington