Three cheers for a group of nine California students who are fed up with tenure rules that protect not only incompetent teachers, but also sexual predators.
Reuters reports California students challenge teacher employment rules in lawsuit.
A group of nine California students will challenge employment rules they complain force public schools in the most populous U.S. state to retain low performing teachers, as opening arguments kick off on Monday in a lawsuit over education policy.
The lawsuit seeks to overturn five California statutes that set guidelines for permanent employment, firing and layoff practices for K-12 public school teachers, saying the rules violate the constitutional rights of students by denying them effective teachers.
Among the rules targeted by the lawsuit is one that requires school administrators to either grant or deny tenure status to teachers after the first 18 months of their employment, which they complain causes administrators to hastily give permanent employment to potentially problematic teachers.
"The system is dysfunctional and arbitrary due to these outdated laws that handcuff school administrators from operating in a fashion that protects children and their right to quality education," attorney Theodore Boutrous of the education advocacy group Students Matter said in a media call.
The plaintiffs are also challenging three laws they say make it difficult to fire low-performing tenured teachers by requiring years of documentation, dozens of procedural steps and hundreds of thousands in public funds before a dismissal.
Lastly, the plaintiffs want to abolish the so-called "last-in first-out" statute, which requires administrators to lay off teachers based on reverse seniority.
The group says that the layoff policy disproportionately affects minority and low-income students, who are more likely to have entry-level teachers and poor quality senior teachers assigned to their district.
"When the layoffs come, the more junior teachers are laid off first, which ends up leaving a higher proportion what we call the ‘grossly ineffective' teachers," Boutrous said. "It's really a vicious cycle."
Teachers' Union Response
"We don't think stripping teachers of their workplace professional rights will help students," said California Federation of Teachers President Joshua Pechthalt."
Mish Translation of Teachers' Union Response
- Teachers first.
- We don't give a damn about the kids.
- We protect the incompetents and the molesters alike.
- Molesters pay dues, kids don't.
- Those dues pad our pockets.
- Padding our pockets allows us to bribe legislators for more rules we want.
Testimony Started Monday
The lawsuit was filed by the nonprofit advocacy group Students Matter, which contends education laws are a violation of the Constitution's equal protection guarantee because they do not ensure all students have access to an adequate education.
The LA Times reports Testimony begins in trial over California teachers' job protections.
Arguments begin Monday in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of laws that govern California’s teacher tenure rules, seniority policies and the dismissal process -- an overhaul of which could upend controversial job security for instructors.
The lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit advocacy group Students Matter, contends these education laws are a violation of the Constitution's equal protection guarantee because they do not ensure all students have access to an adequate education.
Vergara vs. California, filed on behalf of nine students and their families in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks to revamp a dismissal process the plaintiffs say is too costly and time consuming, lengthen the time period for instructors to gain tenure and dismantle the "last hired, first fired" policies that fail to consider teacher effectiveness.
The lawsuit aims to protect the rights of students, teachers and school districts against a "gross disparity" in educational opportunity, lawyers for the plaintiffs said.
Many students — overwhelmingly those who are minority and low-income — are destined to suffer from ineffective and unequal instruction because administrators are unable to remove ineffective teachers from schools, attorneys said.
Students Matter was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David F. Welch, a research scientist who went on to co-found Infinera, a manufacturer of optical telecommunications systems based in Sunnyvale, Calif. The group is partly funded by organizations known for battling teachers unions. The foundation of Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad, which has backed numerous education initiatives, also supports it.
Gross Lie of the Day
In the gross lie of the day category, "The California Department of Education contends districts have the opportunity and discretion to remove ineffective teachers from classrooms and decide whether to grant tenure."
In contrast, L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy, is a supporter of the effort to repeal the statutes. He declined to comment because he is a witness in the case.
Lay it on them John!
Unions are the Child Molester's Best Friend
I am quite sure Deasy can testify how hard it is to get rid of incompetent teachers, even child molesters.
If you think I am making this up, sadly, I am not.
I highly recommend reading the LA Times report: Failure Gets a Pass L.A. Unified Pays Teachers Not to Teach.
You can find similar articles about New York, in fact, anywhere unions rule.
Every time I write something like this I get a ton of emails from teachers. Surprisingly, about a third of them are in support of what I say.
In Praise of Teachers
I have said this before and I say it again: I have nothing against teachers. Most of them are dedicated, hard-working professionals.
I do have everything against public unions whose sole mission is to collect dues and coerce legislators into laws written for the union at the expense of the kids.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock