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Seniority is for people; “LIFO” is for inventory. Get it straight.

January 27, 2011 pm31 1:31 pm

Let’s do something small, but immediate.

We are defending seniority. We are teachers, and are people.

Using the phrase “Last in – First out” is wrong in two ways.

  1. It is a phrase from accounting, and it applies to inventory, not people. It is demeaning to use in this context. We are people, not an order of spark plugs from 3 months ago.
  2. It is pronounced LIFO (life-oh), intentionally promoting the lie that tenure, which gives us due process, is some sort of lifetime appointment.

Let’s call seniority seniority, and stop directing insulting, dehumanizing language against hard-working teachers. And for those of you in favor of good education and against the Mayor’s plans for harming public education in New York City, let’s be triply careful not to adopt his insulting language.

By the way, this issues only plays out in case of lay-offs. Shouldn’t the Mayor be busy working on averting lay-offs?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. rantingwoman permalink
    January 27, 2011 pm31 1:34 pm 1:34 pm

    Great points.

    • January 27, 2011 pm31 9:31 pm 9:31 pm

      Thanks. You should be aware, though, that wordpress immediately flags that sort of comment as spam.

  2. January 27, 2011 pm31 8:32 pm 8:32 pm

    Great piece. I linked it here:!/pages/New-York-City-Teachers-Experience-Matters/114089568615636

  3. January 27, 2011 pm31 8:42 pm 8:42 pm

    It’s always been the case – offensive since it first came up (who used it? Rhee? Bloomberg?) But the “life-oh” bit, first time I heard that point was from Mulgrew at last week’s Delegate Assembly. I hadn’t noticed that they were emphasizing “life” – probably because I read their stuff in the press, but don’t watch much tv, and NEVER see them face to face.

  4. January 27, 2011 pm31 8:52 pm 8:52 pm

    You’re absolutely right. One of the smartest things the deformers have done is commandeer the language. Everything they do is “reform”, and who could oppose that? Let’s fire “bad” teachers (where “bad” equals “senior”)

    It’s time we took some of the language back and started reframing this debate.

  5. Zulma Villalba permalink
    January 27, 2011 pm31 8:55 pm 8:55 pm

    The public and those teachers in the E4E should understand the term used as per NYSED Ed. Law Article 52, section 2588.$$EDN2588$$@TXEDN02588+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=EXPLORER+&TOKEN=28185047+&TARGET=VIEW

  6. Zulma Villalba permalink
    January 27, 2011 pm31 8:57 pm 8:57 pm

    Mr. AT,
    It’s a word game with the powers that wannabe. They conform to these so call reforms that are deformed.

  7. I devour the souls of guppies permalink
    January 27, 2011 pm31 8:58 pm 8:58 pm

    What’s the new one in regards to layoffs… TLU… Teacher Layoff Units. So now we are units… isn’t that wonderful?


  1. Remainders: A suggestion on the semantics of “last in, first out” | GothamSchools

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