Jun 15, 2012

ARTICLE: Seniority vs. Performance

Sacramento ‘Teacher of the Year’ laid off

Yeah, that makes sense.

"The Sacramento City Unified School District has suffered approximately $143 million in budget cuts in recent years. School spokesperson Gabe Ross told News 10 that who gets laid off is mandated by state law and is based on seniority, not performance."

First, I agree that the government overspends and needs to balance the budget. However, it seems to me that we need to cut everything possible before flicking off the teachers. Second, I do not agree with seniority over performance. When the TOTY of an entire school district loses her job because of seniority, how can we not stop to think? 

Taken together, these prove to me that the system is not working on behalf of the students.

I want to address my second point. If this is a profession, we need challenge. From the system, from each other, and from ourselves. We need to improve and seek knowledge about our craft. We need to experience evaluation after evaluation. We need to work together, share, and observe each other. We need to know that, like other professions, we have to work for our spot.

I know that we'll have to debate about performance. How do we decide who deserves the job? Who is best for that classroom? But that's just something that we have to settle. Taken alone, time on the job means absolutely nothing. Seniority is just the easy choice. Unfortunately, it can cause complacency, laziness, and indifference. 

Performance is about teaching. It's about the kids.

Ms. Apperson was let go because seniority is lazy and decision-makers don't care about educating children--heck, larger classes save money anyway.

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