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New York Voters Don’t Support Tenure-Based Policies
posted by: Alix | February 04, 2011, 03:31 PM   

Voters in New York don't believe seniority should be the determining factor in potential teacher layoffs. According to a new poll by Education Reform Now, an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers are against the "last hired, first fired" policy for public school teachers.

Of the 800 statewide respondents, 61 percent said they rejected the seniority-based policy while 37 percent supported it. Interestingly, political leanings did not divide respondents. 60 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of registered independent voters were against the policy

"New York voters clearly understand the difference a good, effective teacher makes in the public school classroom for school kids," said pollster Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies, which conducted the survey. "It is exactly that sentiment that is driving voter support to change the current 'last in, first out' law."

Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents favored a move to a merit-based layoff system, as opposed to the current system. The poll also showed people were less likely to vote for elected officials who were in favor of the current seniority policy.

Although New York teacher unions overwhelmingly support tenure as a bench mark policy, teachers are shifting their opinions as well. According to AAE's 2010 member survey, 70% of teachers disagree with the "last hired, first fired" policy and agree that tenure is not necessary to perform well as a teacher.

States across the country are evaluating their tenure systems. It's possible that the wave of education reform will protect new effective teachers from potential layoffs.

How do you feel about "last fired, first fired"?
Comment below.

New York
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