Removing the Anxiety of School Layoffs

By way of applying emphasis to Marc’s post about Julia Steiny’s Sunday column concerning the March 1 deadline for teacher layoffs, I’d renew a suggestion that I’ve made before related to this paragraph from the latter link:

But in practice, it means that school communities suffer almost four full months of stress over who does and does not have a job. They live with four months of teachers feeling unappreciated, and four months of resentment against administrators who made the layoff decisions.

School districts should just make it practice that everybody gets a layoff notice. Doing so would preserve their flexibility, and in its sheer universality, the move would lessen the degree to which teachers feel targeted. That is, it would leave only the anxiety that most people who are employees bear regarding their jobs.
While I’m revisiting the column, I’d like to highlight a paragraph that captures the Rhode Island approach to public schools very well:

… that means that the staff members are the constant, and the kids’ needs must adjust to them. Job security trumps the quality of the students’ education, the demands of school reform, and any brave efforts to try a new strategy.

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