I recently read an opinion piece where the author was advocating for the continued use of seniority based systems (last hired, first fired) for making RIF (Reduction in Force) decisions, because she felt that it is too difficult to objectively evaluate teachers. That is patently not true. Here is the short course on objectively evaluating teachers.
1. Implement short-term common assessments
2. Disaggregate short-term and long term assessment data to showcase the performance of the most academically fragile students on the campus.
3. Over time, identify the teachers whose academically fragile students make either the biggest or most consistent gains. This is the pool of the most instructionally sound teachers on the campus.
4. Over time, identify the teachers whose academically fragile students make either the least or most inconsistent gains. This is the pool of the least instructionally sound teachers on the campus.
5. After analyzing the performance data of academically fragile students, then add some weight to the following staff performance criteria:
· Student behavior
· Meeting deadlines
· Team collaboration
· Certifications· Following proceedures
At this point, it should be clear who should be RIF’ed and who should remain. The decision still won’t be easy, but it will be based on what is best for the campus, the students and the remaining staff.