In a total victory for the Broad Foundation and "Students Matter", a corporate astroturf group, all five sections of California's tenure law challenged in Vergara v. California were struck down today.
The judge immediately ordered a stay of any change in the law until all appeals were settled. All teacher unions in the state, as well as the state itself have filed appeals.
It's unclear yet whether California's legislature, fearing additional litigation and the weight of more bad press, might rework the laws in question on its own. Just Monday, the state Senate approved a bill that would make it somewhat quicker to fire a teacher for "egregious misconduct," but it's less clear how it would affect dismissal for poor performance.Now I know that many here are like "so what? If that means bad teachers get fired quicker, then so be it."
Tenure is not about "having a permanent job". Tenure is about DUE PROCESS. It's about Sixth Amendment rights.
What people don't realize is that the dynamic between teachers and administration is very often a political one, with personalities often getting in the way. In a non-tenure situation, a superior teacher can very easily be classified as a "bad teacher" by a petty and vindictive administrator,and fired, thereby permanently staining that teacher's record and making him essentially unable to land a job anywhere else.
It is an ESSENTIAL benefit of union representation.
It is an ESSENTIAL part of being in a profession. Doctors have review boards, as do lawyers. They cannot be sanctioned without going through a full and thorough due process hearing procedure.
This is a case that is going all the way to the Supreme Court. And we know how the current court will rule.
This is one more step to making teaching a minimum wage at-will job.
And yet, with the same breath, the very same people bringing this suit all talk about how they want the very best teachers, and the very best people entering the teaching profession and teaching our children.
Well, if you keep treating teachers like shit that's what you're going to get for teachers.
Which is the plan in the first place. A segregated education system, where the haves get the best, and the have-nots get nothing.