Newark Schools Chief Wants Teacher Performance Included in Layoff Criteria

By John Mooney

Union leaders leap to defense of long-established contractual practice of basing job cuts on years of experience

In an unprecedented move, Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson has asked Christie administration to waive seniority rules that dictate how planned teacher layoffs in the state-run district are to be conducted.

The request essentially seeks the state’s permission for Anderson to consider teacher performance in determining the future layoffs of potentially hundreds of the state-run district’s teachers to fend off a looming budget crisis.

[…] Anderson already faces intense public criticism of her “One Newark” plan for reorganizing the district , and union leaders decried the waiver request and threatened legal challenges — even before request was announced.

“It will enable her to mass-fire Newark’s teachers,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the national American Federation of Teachers, in a statement Saturday. “This isn’t what students need or teachers deserve, and it creates more distrust in a community already laden with it.”

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