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Performance considered in Indianapolis teacher layoffs

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The planned layoff of about 80 teachers by Indianapolis Public Schools will be among the first under a new state law that allows teacher performance to be considered in deciding who will be let go.

The layoffs are a result of the state's takeover of three high schools and a middle school because of poor student performance. The district is notifying the teachers and about 70 other workers this week about the possible layoffs, The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.

The layoff process, which used to rely heavily on seniority, was changed last year after the state Legislature passed a bill limiting union bargaining rights and granting greater authority to districts.

In IPS, the new layoff system awarded teachers up to 20 points based on six factors: evaluation, seniority, level of education, discipline and attendance, plus extra credit if a principal declared a teacher added extra value to the school, said Ann Wilkins, president of the district's teachers union.

The district's 2,200 teachers don't face a cutoff score for layoff, as decisions were based on what teachers were needed, district spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said. Teachers in high-need positions could be kept at lower scores than those in low-need positions.

"It has been a fluid process," she said.

Wilkins said teachers received midyear reviews in December that should have alerted them to any danger of layoffs.

"Everyone should have known where they stood," Wilkins said. "If they had concerns, they should have called me then."

Some teachers at the takeover schools have been offered jobs at other IPS sites, and some have accepted positions with the takeover organizations to stay with those schools next year.

Bewley said the layoffs — including among support staff and custodial and administrative workers — are largely because of the state takeovers. The district's board is expected to vote on the layoffs in late May.

The district had earlier expected that about 260 staffers would face layoffs.

"I'm glad it's not what we were projecting," Wilkins said. "We did the best we could."

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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