Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vergara Ruling, Californication

Best Tweet this morning comes from Pedro Noguera ‏@PedroANoguera
California court ruling is a setback for public education. When teachers lose so do kids. Don't blame tenure for the flaws of the system.
Judge Rolf M. Treu's ruling was based on the notion that teachers and students have conflicting interests, ie. what's good for teachers, like bargaining rights, is bad for kids. Treu even had the nerve to cite Brown v. Board as a rationale for his anti-teacher ruling.

Welch (3rd from left) and legal team.
The case was filed by a front group for the corporate "reformers" in an attempt to undercut statewide collective-bargaining agreements and to make it easier to fire teachers without due process. The legal costs were covered by  by Silicon Valley billionaire David Welch. Welch is also a founder of the New Schools Venture Fund, a powerful force behind the growth of privately-run charter schools.

Backing Welch, according to the Washington Post, were
...some of the most incendiary players in the national argument over the future of public schools, including Michelle Rhee, the former D.C. schools chancellor who got rid of tenure in the District in 2009 and went on to form an advocacy group aimed at eliminating it across the country. Parent Revolution, the group behind the controversial “parent trigger” laws, is another supporter.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the ruling "a mandate" for lawmakers and education leaders. Other organizations behind the suit included: Alliance for a Better Community, California Charter Schools Association, Silcon Valley Leadership Group, GO Oakland Public Schools, and NewSchools Venture Fund. The suit is also supported by Superintendents John Deasy in L.A., former Oakland Supt.Tony Smith, and Jonathan Raymond of Sacramento City Unified.

On the teachers side were Gov. Jerry Brown, the CFT and the CTA. They will appeal the ruling.

James Ryan, dean of Harvard University's graduate school of education, said the verdict "will likely cause lawyers in other states to think about bringing similar suits." But he pointed out that the decision explicitly called on the state Legislature to fix the unconstitutional statues at issue. As a result, there will likely be "back-and-forth" between the Legislature and courts for many years to come.

"This has a long way before it's over in California and it hasn't even started yet in other states," Mr. Ryan said.

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