Detroit teachers union fighting layoffs with lawsuit

(WXYZ) - The Detroit Federation of Teachers announced Wednesday they will sue Detroit Public Schools for laying off more than 400 teachers based on what they say are unfair evaluations.

The EAS school system implemented a new evaluation tool during the 2011-2012 school year which would determine which teachers would be most effective in the school system.

DPS says the evaluations are based on several areas including performance and attendance.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, union President Keith Johnson stated the scores were inaccurate and sometimes arbitrary.

Johnson told 7 Action News under the head of new the EAS school system Roy Roberts, principals were allowed to pick teachers best suited for each school.

Johnson says that since the principals were handing out the scores, he believes the rankings were based on favoritism and not performance or seniority.

Action News spoke to Mike Wasko, a spokesperson for Detroit Public Schools. The district maintains it acted fairly.

"The teacher evaluation process, we believe, was one that was conducted in the best interest of the of the children," said Wasko. "Mr. Roberts was very clear after the legislature acted to in in fact preclude school districts in making hiring decisions just on the basis of seniority and move Detroit to really be the first school district in state to become in full compliance. "

Attorneys will move forward with the lawsuit by taking depositions and obtaining the district's documents during the short discovery period.

They will seek an injection in at least a month.

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