May 9th, 2011

WATCH: 'Last In, First Out' Examined In Hartford, CT

( Click here to download the podcast )

“I don’t care how long someone has been in the classroom. I want results.”

That’s the view of one principal in Hartford, CT, where Learning Matters producers John Tulenko and Audrey Baker traveled recently to investigate the many sides of ‘last in, first out’ (LIFO), a method of teacher retention in many states. The issue is heated, requires its own vocabulary (do you know what ‘bumping’ is?), and has very serious financial implications — Hartford, for example, is trying to cut $17 million from the budget.

This deep, nuanced look at LIFO aired on Monday, May 9 on PBS NewsHour.

Download transcript (PDF)

This program is made possible by the following funders:
Grade Level Reading Fund of the Tides Foundation, The Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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John, thanks for your coverage of important issues in education, including teacher evaluation and development. Viewers with an interest in this issue (particularly those in California) might be interested in Ed100’s primers on the subject at and more specifically at . (Ed100 is a new blog that offers a structured way to think through the many issues involved in education and that explains the jargon - like “bumping” in this article - along the way. )
Also, a request: when you cover education topics that involve money, it is very helpful when you express the dollars involved in “per student” terms.

It seemed that keeping experienced teachers have and will produce the very results they want. Excellent report. Thanks.

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