Vergara witness says state laws governing teachers work
The battle of the experts continued today in Vergara vs. California as an expert in labor economics and public policy called by the defense provided rationales for keeping in place the state laws governing teachers that are under challenge in the case. Jesse Rothstein, a professor at Cal-Berkeley and a former senior economist on the...
By Mark Harris | March 6, 2014
In Vergara, witness says districts can overcome ineffective teachers
The defense in Vergara v California began its case today, calling to the witness stand a veteran educator whose testimony about identifying and dealing with ineffective teachers came in stark contrast to the views of earlier witnesses in the case. Robert Fraisse, whose career included serving as superintendent in three California school districts, appeared to...
By Mark Harris | March 5, 2014
Judge rules Vergara case goes on; defense case starts Wednesday
After giving lawyers one more chance to make their arguments today, Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled that Vergara v California will proceed, denying the defendants’ request to throw the case out. As defendants, the state and its two biggest teachers unions tried to persuade the judge that in four weeks of testimony, the plaintiffs...
By Mark Harris | March 4, 2014
Vergara lawyers await decision on whether to let case proceed
After a one-week recess, the court resumes tomorrow in the case of Vergara vs. California. Attorneys for both the defense and the nine student plaintiffs are gearing up for what could turn out to be a critical juncture in this landmark case. Before Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu is whether to throw the case out...
By Mark Harris | March 3, 2014
Vergara defense team: plaintiffs failed to reach the bar
At 10:25 this morning, after they got their final documents entered into evidence, the plaintiffs in Vergara vs. California rested. That was the signal to Susan Carson, a lawyer for the state, to inform Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu that the state and teachers’ unions would file papers later in the day, asking him to...
By Mark Harris | February 20, 2014
Vergara plaintiffs conclude case, with two views on laws’ impact
Plaintiffs called their final witnesses in Vergara v California today, putting on the stand two experts who offered testimony designed to show negative consequences of the state statutes under challenge. It’s a case that could overhaul major parts of state laws that govern teacher dismissal and tenure opportunities. Frank Fekete, a lawyer from Redondo Beach...
By Mark Harris | February 19, 2014
Vergara witness says schools can deal with teacher ineffectiveness
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging state laws that govern teacher employment put their case on pause today, allowing the defense team to call one of its key experts to the witness stand. But it turned out far more challenging than Dr. Susan Moore Johnson, a respected Harvard professor, and the former dean of the Harvard...
By Mark Harris | February 18, 2014
Defense tries hard to undermine an expert in Vergara trial
Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a group that works for high academic achievement, returned to the witness stand today for more questions by the defense, aimed at undermining his credibility, research and right to be considered an expert. As one of the plaintiffs’ key experts in the landmark trial, Vergara vs. California,...
By Mark Harris | February 14, 2014
Experts in Vergara trial endure bumpy rides on the witness stand
As plaintiffs come down the home stretch in the landmark trial Vergara vs. California, attorneys for the nine-student litigants are attempting to underscore key points in their case by calling more expert witnesses. For two of them, at least, defense lawyers made it as challenging for them as they could today, peppering testimony with objections...
By Mark Harris | February 13, 2014
Vergara sisters recall teachers who inspired them to join lawsuit
Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara, sisters at the center of a state lawsuit in their name, Vergara vs. California, took the witness stand today, describing chaotic classrooms with inattentive and hurtful teachers in their middle school. The sisters, who now attend high school at Cesar Chavez Learning Academies, an LA Unified school in San Fernando, are...
By Mark Harris | February 11, 2014