American Elephants


California Teacher Tenure Laws Struck Down by The Elephant's Child

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A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled on Tuesday that teacher tenure laws deprive students of their constitutional right to an education — a decision that overturns several California laws that govern the way teachers are hired and fired.

The suit was filed by a group called “Students Matter” which was founded by a technology magnate with an interest in education reform. The article points out that  the ruling is apt to encourage copycat lawsuits in every state and city of the union.

Superior Court Justice Rolf M. Treu wrote in the ruling that:

Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students. The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.

The Los Angeles Times reported that:

The plaintiffs argued that California’s current laws made it impossible to get rid of low-performing and incompetent teachers, who were disproportionately assigned to schools filled with poor students. The result, they insisted, amounted to a violation of students’ constitutional rights to an education.

This is a major blow to the teachers unions. The worst teachers are assigned to the poorest communities. Union regulations make it difficult to impossible to get rid of an incompetent teacher. According to California law, new teachers are eligible for lifetime tenure after just 18 months in the classroom. Once they have tenure, firing them for cause is a long difficult process and the longer they’re on the job, the harder it is.

Nine public-school students sued the state for sticking them with bad teachers.
They presented economic evidence that bad teachers can cost students tens of thousands of dollars in future income by setting back their education. The court held that the students come first.

This is a Superior Court decision, and if appealed will go the State Supreme Court, not the U.S. Supreme Court. Not likely that the unions would take this lying down.

The central problem is that Liberals support the teachers’ unions because they give financial support to Democrats, and well-to-do Liberals don’t send their kids to failing schools, they send them to private schools as the Obamas do. You will note that President Obama continues to oppose vouchers for poor minority kids. Political support trumps good education for kids every time. Actually, political support almost always comes first.

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3 Comments so far
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This getting rid of bad teachers misses the point. There are dozens of items to check off on teacher eval. NO teacher can get them all. The eval becomes a weapon. Did 33 years in Miami Dade Schools. Administrator will mark a good teacher to be replaced by a friend. Administrator will mark a good teacher to replace with their own race and same for ethnicity and for sexual favor too. Miami system is corrupt with cronyism and nepotism and teachers will be cut down due to favoritism not bad teacher. Here’s one: Eval a teacher in class at end of day the Friday before vacation. The school is half empty, no one is doing anything school wide and you can nail every teacher in the building if so inclined.

Comment by Carl D'Agostino

The point of this particular case was tenure being granted too soon for incompetent teachers to be found out. Years ago when we lived in the LA area in a new area, brand new teachers were being hired and dropped after a year before they could get tenure, no matter whether they were good or not. Other occupations don’t have tenure, are susceptible to a boss’s whims, and have to prove themselves. Why shouldn’t teachers do the same?

Comment by The Elephant's Child

I agree teacher should prove themselves. In Miami Dade they don’t get tenure until fourth year. They don’t call it that but continuing contract. It is so crazy in these classrooms with behavior problems and administrator wanting to control your every breath 40% of teachesr quit in first year.

Comment by Carl D'Agostino




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