Kim Underwood has an article in today's Winston-Salem Journal about the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board exploring the possibility of laying people off due to budget issues. The part of the story that caused my jaw to drop was this:
If individual cuts are necessary, the potential list of criteria
presented for the board to consider included evaluations;
student-performance data; length of service, giving preference to
teachers with National Board Certification; and level of degrees.
Tripp Jeffers, the president of the Forsyth County Association of
Educators, which represents the school system's teachers, urged board
members not to include such subjective elements as evaluations and to
rely more on seniority. Board members Buddy Collins and Jeannie Metcalf
expressed reservations about having evaluations and data that included
student performance too high on the list.
"The part that bothers me is the subjectivity of some of these things," Metcalf said.
What kind of fairy tale universe do these people live in? The rest of us in the working world are evaluated by our bosses, peers, customers, etc. and have our employment tied to these highly subjective measures. Should I expect to continue to be retained, even if I do crappy work, just because I've been around longer than the highly competent person working next to me? I don't think so. As both a boss (taxpayer) and customer (my children are students) I would like very much for the teachers to be retained based on their performance and not on their ability to breathe the air between the schools' four walls for a longer period of time than anyone else.
The most blatantly incompetent teacher my children ever had was also the one with the most seniority.