Newark’s Unusual Route to Performance based Layoffs

John Mooney:

It’s a process invoked by school districts across New Jersey only a few times each year, a request for a waiver from state regulations that gets into the minutia of school operations.
A district might want to hire a registered nurse instead of a certified school nurse as required by the rules, for example. Last year, a district wanted to put a school psychologist in as a guidance.
Yet Newark’s School Superintendent Cami Anderson has upped the ante in the little-used waiver process by requesting that the Christie administration let her lay off potentially hundreds of teachers over the next three years based on performance first, and seniority second.
The waiver request, filed on Friday, maintains that there is leeway in the state statute that requires dismissals be based on seniority alone, a policy known as “last in, first out,” and that the state’s education commissioner has the discretion to allow what Anderson termed a “performance-based” system to be used when making dismissals.

Laura Waters has more