Saturday, April 07, 2012

Great news from Illinois

Great news from Illinois (courtesy of Andrew Broy, President of the Illinois Network of Charter Schools):


I thought you'd appreciate the recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling upholding Chicago's decision to use performance criteria, rather than mere tenure, in determining which teachers to hire/rehire after a RIF.  Major victory for those of us who support differentiation among teachers and policies that permit hiring the most effective teachers.  Here are facts:


·         In 2010, CPS, facing a big budget deficit for the next school year, laid off 1,289 teachers. A subsequent increase in federal funding (EduJobs) offset much of the deficit. In filling vacancies, CPS did not give tenured teachers preference; instead the district recalled 715 of the laid-off teachers using performance criteria, and also made quite a few new hires.   


·         The CTU went to court, arguing that the district had improperly fired many of its tenured members. The Supreme Court had to address a core question:  Do tenured teachers laid off for economic reasons have a right of first hire as their school district fills jobs?


·         The court said no.  In Chicago, the district has the power to promulgate its own layoff/recall procedures and not merely follow tenure. The Supreme Court majority found that a major 1995 school reform law "reflects a clear legislative intent to change the statutory rights of tenured teachers in a layoff."


·         As a result, CPS principals are now free to hire the best teachers, tenured or otherwise, after a layoff. 


Here are some links to related coverage:

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