As financial challenges force school districts across the country to make layoff decisions, many new, successful teachers are being driven out of the system. The problem is not just budget cuts but also a four-letter word: LIFO, “last in, first out.” The last teachers hired are the first ones fired.
This is how layoff decisions are made in many states. The process is not fair to teachers or students.
Let’s start with teachers. If you’ve wondered why more bright, ambitious people don’t enter or stick with teaching, consider that the profession ignores success. If you knew you could be fired after two years of amazing performance, would you take the job in the first place?
Pittsburgh’s Faison Elementary School, which is located in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, is a perfect example of a school being crippled by LIFO. One year ago, after a rigorous application process, it selected more than two dozen teachers to help revitalize the school, which has a long history of struggling to help students meet basic standards.
Read the full article on USA Today.