Not only did none of [the plaintiffs] have a “grossly ineffective” teacher, but some of the plaintiffs attended schools where there are no tenured teachers. Two of the plaintiffs attend charter schools, where there is no tenure or seniority, and [...] “Beatriz and Elizabeth Vergara both attend a “Pilot School” in LAUSD that is free to let teachers go at the end of the school year for any reason, including ineffectiveness.So we're going to build a new framework for the teaching profession by destroying laws that didn't even apply to several of the people in the case used to strike those laws down? If you want equal educational opportunities for students, you don't attack teachers. You fund schools. You fund teacher education. Most of all, you attack poverty and inequality. But that's not what this case—or Duncan's response to it—focused on. As the Los Angeles Times' Michael Hiltzik writes, this case attacked teachers:
Not the imbalance of financial resources between rich districts and poor. Not the social pathologies--poverty, joblessness, racial discrimination, violence--that affect educational attainment in disadvantaged communities.Unfortunately, that's a suspicion that Obama's education secretary is too in love with corporate education policy to entertain.
Not California's rank at the very bottom of all states in its per-pupil expenditures, at $8,342 (in 2011), according to the quality index published by EducationWeek. That's 30% below the national average of $11,864, reflecting the consistent shortchanging of the K-12 system by the state. [...]
Observes David B. Cohen, a schoolteacher and associate director of Accomplished California Teachers, an education advocacy group associated with Stanford University, one should be "suspicious of wealthy and powerful individuals and groups whose advocacy for children leads to 'reforms' that won’t cost a cent, but will weaken labor."