Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Correction: California teacher tenure and seniority system is struck down (Pending Appeal) - LA Times

California teacher tenure and seniority system is struck down - LA Times:
California teacher tenure and seniority system is struck down (Pending Appeal) 

Editors Note: MY BAD  Meant to Reference Earlier Posts  OOOPS!:  (I MUST Fire the Editor - Way Too Much Multitasking) Mea Culpa

Are changing labor laws silencing the teachers’ voice? | Brookings Institution http://bit.ly/1Lg5HCv

The tenure and seniority system that has long protected California public school teachers, even ineffective ones, was struck down Tuesday in a court decision that could change hiring and firing policies nationwide.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu said that the laws governing job security were unconstitutional because they harmed predominantly low-income, minority students by allowing incompetent instructors to remain in the classroom.
The protections "impose a real and appreciable impact on students' fundamental right to equality of education," he wrote. "The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience."
The 16-page decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And, lastly, it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the ruling a nationwide "mandate" to change similar "laws, practices and systems that fail to identify and support our best teachers and match them with our neediest students." He said the welfare of "millions of young people" is at stake.

The verdict represents a major loss for teacher unions and an undiluted victory by the attorneys and families that brought the landmark case on behalf of a well-funded Silicon Valley group.
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy, who testified for the winning side, called the ruling "historic" and a "call to action."
Union leaders and other critics faulted the outcome.
"This is a sad day for public education," said Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers. No student should endure an ineffective teacher, "but in focusing on these teachers who make up a fraction of the workforce, [Treu] strips the hundreds of thousands of teachers who are doing a good job of any right to a voice."

The state's case was handled by the attorney general's office and joined by lawyers for the California Teachers Assn. and the California Federation of Teachers.
Treu wrote that the laws also hurt teachers, saddling them with poor-performing colleagues and the system with expensive dismissal cases, which drain classroom resources.
If layoffs become necessary, teacher performance should matter, he said. When a high-quality junior teacher is laid off instead of a lesser, more experienced colleague, "the result is classroom disruption on two fronts," he wrote. It's a "lose-lose situation" that "is unfathomable and therefore constitutionally unsupportable."
In his ruling, Treu consistently echoed the arguments of the attorneys who sued California and the top public officials responsible for the state's education laws.
He accepted, for example, that teachers can be evaluated fairly through a statistical analysis based on student test scores, a point of dispute among some educators and experts. He cited testimony quantifying how many months of learning a student can lose because of a bad teacher.
He noted that another expert said a poor instructor costs a class $1.4 million in lifetime earnings.
The judge also cited an assertion from the L.A. Unified School District, the nation's second-largest, that it would like to fire 350 teachers, but restrictions got in the way.
At the same time, he buttressed his ruling using testimony from witnesses called to defend the laws.
Treu wrote that one defense witness "testified that 1% to 3% of teachers in California are California teacher tenure and seniority system is struck down - LA Times:

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Big Education Ape: Supreme Court Prepares to Take On Politically Charged Cases - The New York Times http://bit.ly/1OgnY51

Big Education Ape: Court Gets Back to Business | National Law Journal http://bit.ly/1OezHkI

Big Education Ape: A U.S. judge blocks the latest attack on teachers' political speech - LA Times http://bit.ly/1MMrwJ9

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Teacher Tenure | Diane Ravitch's blog http://bit.ly/1MbJxlG

Vergara v. California Archives - LA School Report http://bit.ly/1MbJzdb

A judge throws out a challenge to how unions spend teachers' money - LA Times http://lat.ms/1VrBIce