Orleans Parish School Board votes on teacher tenure, layoffs

The Orleans Parish School Board held a public hearing on changes to personnel policies at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a general board meeting at 5 p.m. The bulk of the changes were mandated by the 2012 state legislative session.

I live-blogged both events here.

Among the policy changes approved unanimously, all mandated by Act 1:

Teacher tenure: Teachers will be granted tenure only if they have been rated “highly effective” for five of the six years before the tenure decision. Any teacher who receives an “ineffective” rating will immediately lose tenure.

Reduction in force decisions: The School Board will delegate all reduction-in-force decisions to the district superintendent. Neither seniority nor tenure will be the primary factor in deciding which employees are eliminated. Instead, least effective employees will be eliminated first.

School principal responsibilities: The School Board will delegate all school-level hiring and firing decisions to the school principal.

Even before the legal mandates, the board had been moving in the direction of empowering its superintendent, as well as school-level officials, to make more decisions, board president Thomas Robichaux said.

“It’s our goal to empower school leaders and teachers, because only when you empower them can you hold them accountable,” he said.

Both meetings were held at McDonogh #35 Senior High School.

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