Larry Mantle |

Does protecting teacher seniority leave students vulnerable?

That’s the gist of an upcoming Los Angeles Times story that’s part of the paper’s series on assessing teacher performance.  Reporters Jason Felch and Jason Song analyzed Value Added data for teachers who were laid off in recent years and found that many of them scored well in improving student performance, but lost their jobs due to inexperience.

The argument from teachers’ unions has been that using seniority for determining layoffs is essential to protecting teachers from arbitrary firings.  That may be, but it means that many better teachers may be lost in the process.

How much do you think teacher experience should factor into job security?  The Times claims its value added analysis shows that after five years of experience, there’s no added benefit to students as the teachers rack up years.  Does that make sense to you, or are you skeptical?