American Elephants

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


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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