Commentary: Vergara’s dissenting justices write for history
In the long struggle to make the United States more just and perfect, court majorities have made some horrific mistakes. When that happens, the burden falls on dissents to provide hope for the future arc of the moral universe. Such dissents often come from the most distinguished jurists. Benjamin Curtis, for instance, was the first...
By Dmitri Mehlhorn | August 24, 2016
Teacher tenure bill defeated in committee
State lawmakers on Wednesday once again failed to amend teacher tenure laws, this time rejecting a bill that would have extended the probationary period from two to three years — even after the bill was stripped of its boldest language. The bill, AB 934, sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, was defeated 5-2, with two...
By Sarah Favot | June 29, 2016
Commentary: A promising bill on teacher effectiveness is gutted in backroom deal
By Ben Austin Last month, my organization, Students Matter, issued its support of California’s AB 934 – a state bill that, though imperfect, honestly attempted to address the grave defaults in the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws challenged by the student plaintiffs in Vergara v. California. (A 2014 ruling in that case sided...
By Guest contributor | June 27, 2016
Commentary: Parents want legislature to act on teacher tenure
By Jenny Hontz When LA School Report reported this week that 181 LAUSD staffers are currently being paid to sit around and do nothing while they are investigated for alleged misconduct, costing the district $15 million a year, school board members expressed surprise. The numbers are staggering, but it should be no surprise to anyone that...
By LA School Report | June 24, 2016
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Judges jump in during Vergara arguments
Even before the deputy attorney general got to finish a single statement, the 2nd District Court of Appeals justices hearing a landmark education case Thursday jumped in to ask questions. How do you tell if a teacher is “grossly ineffective”? Is there proof that discrimination has occurred? What is the impact on the state? For...
By Mike Szymanski | February 25, 2016
Court hears oral arguments for Vergara appeals Thursday
Arguments in one of the most important lawsuits involving public education will be heard Thursday morning in the state Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. The case of Vergara v. California seeks to overturn five laws involving teacher tenure, dismissals and the last-in, first-out layoff policies. The case was brought on behalf of nine students in five...
By Mike Szymanski | February 24, 2016
LA teachers group offers solutions for a post-Vergara world
While state teacher unions are spending time, energy and money fighting the landmark Vergara v. California ruling through appeal, one group of teachers in Los Angeles is helping shape what a post-Vergara world could look like. In a presentation yesterday at the California Community Foundation, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined L.A.-based teaching policy fellows with...
By Craig Clough | September 19, 2014
JUST IN: Vergara ruling stands, judge rules in final review
The judge in Vergara vs. California today released his final review of the case, affirming his preliminary decision in June, that five state statures governing teacher employment rules violate the California constitution by denying students access to a quality public education. In his final ruling, filed yesterday, Judge Rolf Treu, said, “plaintiffs have met their...
By Michael Janofsky | August 28, 2014
Commentary: The problem with teacher tenure
Via NY Times | by Frank Bruni There are perils to the current tenure talk: that it fails to address the intense strains on many teachers; that it lays too much fault on their doorsteps, distracting people from other necessary reforms. But the discussion is imperative, because there’s no sense in putting something as crucial as...
By LA School Report | August 19, 2014
Top 6 shockers: how Weingarten and Deasy agree on tenure
The stage was set with the two public education luminaries, ready to square off on such lightning rod issues as tenure and teacher dismissal laws in the wake of last month’s Vergara trial: Randi Weingarten, leader of the nation’s second largest teachers organization, AFT, and Superintendent John Deasy, leader of the second largest school district in the...
By LA School Report | July 2, 2014