Vergara trial ends, with CA teacher laws hanging in the balance
Lawyers from both sides in Vergara v California — the state’s most significant teacher rights case in two decades — unleashed their final arguments today, in a last attempt to amplify their own case and destroy their opponent’s. The case is now in the hands of state Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu, who gave the...
By Mark Harris | March 27, 2014
Analysis: Vergara approaching time for Treu judgement
Closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow in Vergara v California. Lawyers for the nine public school children who are the plaintiffs will speak from 10 to noon, followed by their defense counterparts, from 1:30 to 3:30. The plaintiffs have the option to get in a last word after that, but, really, is there much new...
By Michael Janofsky | March 26, 2014
Defense rests in Vergara after a battle over dismissal stats
The defense rested its case today in Vergara v. California after an examination of an LA Unified administrator that was designed to show that the state laws under challenge did not impede the district’s effort to get rid of ineffective teachers. On Monday, court resumes with the plaintiffs’ opening a short rebuttal phase of the trial,...
By Michael Janofsky | March 21, 2014
More than just teachers affect learning, Vergara expert says
An expert on the the role that teachers play in academic performance today became the latest defense witness in Vergara v California to testify that students in high-poverty area schools face higher challenges to learning. Ken Futernick, Director of the WestEd School Turnaround Center, a research organization, and a former professor of education at California...
By Mark Harris | March 19, 2014
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Vergara witness says streets more than teachers shape academics
An expert in educational psychology testified today that violence in the neighborhood, family income, food insecurity and other out-of-school factors are three times more likely to impact a student’s classroom performance than the effectiveness of the teacher. The expert, David Berliner, also discounted the reliability of student test scores to judge a teacher’s ability to...
By Mark Harris | March 18, 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 trial resumes but for how long — a day or maybe weeks
It could be a monumental day in the Vergara vs. California trial. Or it could just lead to more testimony. Lawyers are expecting California Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu to decide whether to throw the case out, as the defendants are asking, or keep it going, as the plaintiffs are urging. The decision turns on...
By LA School Report | 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 plaintiffs file response, arguing to keep the trial going
Plaintiffs today in Vergara v. California, a case challenging state teacher laws, submitted their opposition to the defendants’ motion for judgment, which was filed with the California Superior Court last week. Defendants are asking the court to throw out the case for a lack of evidence. The plaintiffs’ response emphasizes the “compelling and overwhelming evidence” that...
By LA School Report | February 26, 2014
Analysis: Legal positions in Vergara trial a universe apart
With Vergara v California at the halfway point, and court in recess until next week, it’s a good time to see where things stand and where they might be going, if they’re going anywhere at all. The trial has enormous consequences for the state, and maybe beyond, calling into account five California laws that govern...
By Michael Janofsky | February 25, 2014