The Massachusetts Teachers Association and Stand for Children recently reached a compromise agreement on legislation that would put teacher performance over seniority in decisions about hiring, transfers, and layoffs. This is the right move for both students and teachers.
Historically, there were good reasons to base staffing decisions on seniority alone: gender equity, transparency, and freedom to voice disagreement, among them. Today, there are still reasons to take seniority into account. But times have changed. As teachers and union members, we must ask if the rules we’ve been accustomed to are continuing to serve our best interests and the interests of our students.