LIFO in Action

NJ Spotlight reports on Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s transition, particularly in regards to using previously excessed teachers from Newark’s own rubber room. Sometimes teachers are placed in this pool because of declining enrollment or other factors that are no reflection on their effectiveness; sometimes teachers are placed in this pool because they’re lousy teachers who can’t be fired because of tenure laws, which value seniority over instructional efficacy.

In the past those teachers would be placed in classrooms regardless of their ability to raise student achievement. However, Anderson is moving away from “forced placements.” Therefore, students will be spared those teachers although the district still has to pay their salaries and benefits.

Explains Anderson, “the good news and the bad news: there are good people in there, and the principals will pick them up. The bad news is we’ll be left with some lesser ones." From the Spotlight:
Right now, there are one hundred teachers in that pool, estimated to cost Newark $10 million a year if they remain in limbo. That number is expected to come down, but Anderson nevertheless called the tighter hiring and transfer system a "good investment" for the district’s long-term improvement.

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