Teachers of Color Are Most at Risk in Upcoming Layoffs, Report Says

| Education Week | Madeline Will

A long-established policy meant to protect veteran teachers from layoffs could be crashing up against the impetus districts have put on hiring a more diverse teaching force as the potential for another round of teacher layoffs in the coming months looms large.

A report released this month by the education nonprofits TNTP and Educators for Excellence takes a closer look at “last in, first out” layoff policies that are based on seniority. Those policies have historically been supported by teachers’ unions, which say that seniority is a transparent and objective standard.

But teachers of color, on average, turn over at higher rates than white teachers. That means they’re more likely to be in their first years of teaching, and therefore more likely to be laid off under these policies.

“Sometimes we go to the easiest solution even if it’s not the best solution for students,” said Tequilla Brownie, the chief executive officer of TNTP. “[Seniority] is not the one thing that correlates with teachers being most effective. … A more diverse teacher workforce correlates with better student outcomes.”

TNTP and Educators for Excellence requested data on teacher demographics and experience from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They received data back from 39 states and the nation’s capital.

Read the full article at Education Week.

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, stands in front of her students while introducing them to the captivating world of science

Imali Ariyarathne, seventh-grade teacher at Langston Hughes Academy, introduces her students to the captivating world of science.

About TNTP

TNTP is the nation’s leading research, policy, and consulting organization dedicated to transforming America’s public education system, so that every generation thrives.

Today, we work side-by-side with educators, system leaders, and communities across 39 states and over 6,000 districts nationwide to reach ambitious goals for student success.

Yet the possibilities we imagine push far beyond the walls of school and the education field alone. We are catalyzing a movement across sectors to create multiple pathways for young people to achieve academic, economic, and social mobility.

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