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Judge rules against teacher tenure rules

Original post made by Registered Joe on Jun 10, 2014

Vergara vs. California - the Students Matter lawsuit - the challenge to CA teacher tenure rules that effectively prevent teachers from being fired.

Because of existing laws and union rules regarding termination, only an average of 10 teachers per year have been fired for incompetence or other issues, out of almost 300,000 teachers in California. Imagine, an industry which is powerful enough to have been able to prevent its workers from being terminated.

Today Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu ruled that existing tenure protections prevent students' fundamental rights to equality of education, and are therefore unconstitutional.

The two CA teachers' unions were vigorously opposed to this, supporting the existing laws and rules that would leave the termination process as-is.

This has been a closely-watched case nationwide.

Comments (18)

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

There are teachers in the PUSD that must feel a little nervous.

Posted by Right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Half need to be fired. The other half needs to be on serious probation. In a perfect world, the half that get fired will be placed by personell willing to work for half the pay and 1/4 of the pension.

Let parents determine whether a teacher should stay or not. Enough molly coddling. End the unions, now. Their corrupt socialism and embezzlement are a blight on our children and all good Americans. Bring back Jon Vranesh now!

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

This ruling seems reasonable, but I think it will not go far in providing better education to low-performing schools. Sure, some bad teachers will get fired, but there's always going to be a few bad teachers.

The only thing that will improve low-performing schools are high-performing families. High-performing teachers might help on the margins, but that won't be the norm.


Posted by Gene Debs, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

We know that states with unionized teachers perform consistently and uniformly at a higher level than those states that prohibit unions. So we know, also, that this Welch-based crusade has not been about improving education. Rather, it amounts to a witch hunt aimed at unionized teachers. You know, something about unions being socialist and all that other crap that comes from posters here who can barely read or write.

Registered Joe -- yes I mean you as well as the other boobs who have posted here -- did you bother to count how many teachers were terminated PRIOR TO being awarded tenure? You see, without that stat, your statement about 10 teachers per year being fired in California on average is a bit of a lie.

Web Link

Posted by Rhel, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Rhel is a registered user.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tenure and other job protections for California's public school teachers were ruled unconstitutional Tuesday by a judge presiding in a lawsuit brought by nine students.


Based on massive study, an expert testified that a single year with a grossly ineffective teacher costs a classroom full of students $1.4 million in lifetime earnings, Treu wrote.


One issue at the center of the lawsuit was whether bad teachers should be so heavily protected by tenure laws that they are almost impossible to fire. The lawsuit asked the courts to strike down several laws providing teachers with tenure, seniority-based job protection and other benefits.

Web Link

Posted by Gene Debs, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Well, Rhel shows he can quote (parrot) the article provided by Registered Joe. He doesn't seem able to express a thought in his own words, however. Like I said, boobs. (Maybe could have really used a unionized teacher or two along the way.)

I am claiming that Joe's assertion that Cal system only fires 10 teachers per year is a lie. In other words, I'm claiming Joe is a liar.

Further, union teachers, based upon performance, are proven to be better than non-union teachers. So, if you're concerned about 'incompetent teachers' you're more likely to find them in states that prohibit teachers from forming unions than you are to find them in California.

Posted by Beba, a resident of Beratlis Place
on Jun 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Gene you are just a union teacher cool.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm

I would not want to be a teacher right now unless I was a great one. This will only get worse as the money continues to dry up and money continues to leave the state. It's gonna get ugly.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Gene Debs,

"So, if you're concerned about 'incompetent teachers' you're more likely to find them in states that prohibit teachers from forming unions than you are to find them in California."

This is breathtakingly the dumbest thing written on town forum in a long time! You should win a prize.

You are aware that California is DEAD LAST on quality education across the board, eh Gene/Eddie...(whichever sock puppet you are today)?

I'm feeling generous though and including a link from left-of-center Huffington post, just so you don't criticize the source as being right-wing propaganda: Web Link

But who cares, at least have the more competent teachers than other states...guffaw!! [slaps forehead]

Posted by Real Motives, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Are we truly expected to believe that a billionaire really gives a crap about the education of poor children so he helps with this lawsuit? The billionaire cares about one thing only, more billions. And that's what these people see when they see kids and schools. Money they don't have access to. If they can erode the current educational system they can then privatize the entire thing and make lots of money. The education will not improve for kids in poverty and teachers will actually be the winners and not losers. A "good" teacher is viewed, by parents, as one who issues As and Bs to the students. Not many parents care about how much the child really learns. Any teacher worth his/her salt will just learn to be "good teacher" (read: leave any and all integrity behind) and rake in the cash. Under this ruling teachers will have more leverage to ask for higher pay and will have the flexibility to move around more. It's crazy that anyone thinks the teachers have something to lose, they have everything to gain from this.

Posted by Gene Debs, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 11, 2014 at 6:30 am

Poor Dan. First of all, the 'results' he points us toward have nothing to do with union or nonunion teaching. (Attention deficit?) Second, the 'results' he points us toward show nothing indicating California is dead last as he claims. (Delusional thinking? Or just dumb? Did he even read the 'results' he points us toward?) At any rate, file this one under: Mush head sees stats that show California, despite spending less on students than most other states, in the middle of the pack; mush head looks at the stat and pronounces "California is dead last."

I understand how people who emerged from the educational system with less than adequate skills carry a grudge. Being a mush head must be a difficult burden to shoulder. But perhaps this is an area where the mush heads should talk about personal responsibility -- as in themselves being responsible for their own failures.

So, poor Dan is wrong in everything he writes, and looking at his last sentence, he can't even demonstrate minimal mastery of grammatical structure. Upshot: Nothing meaningful, only mush.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jun 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gene (Kevin?), Everyone from students to parents to teachers to principals and up through the district office knows who the bad teachers are, but it is way too easy to get tenure and way too difficult to get rid of those who burn out early, don't opt in to professional development, coast through their last few years . . . A possible solution at one end is moving tenure to the first day of the sixth year, looking more deeply at peer review and support, requiring yearly (and more) units of education like doctors, nurses, and accountants, or even recertification every five years once tenure is achieved. At the other end, removing a bad teacher (one who having had support and still can't cut it) has to be easier--and maybe that's as simple as the recertification idea. All of this can be done without the loss of tenure. There are ways to protect the best teachers from potentially harmful parents and administrators without also protecting the habitually weak who hurt students. Anyone who thinks otherwise has somehow sailed through any (public or private) education system getting the luck of the draw. A bad teacher for one school year can have a devastating impact on children, and that's anywhere in the world, not just California.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jun 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

The US Supreme Court is destined to make the decision on tenure. Be patient.

Posted by Rhel, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Rhel is a registered user.


My intent was not to "parrot" the article per se, it was to provide a web link so that people could read the article themselves.

Yes, I provided three quotes from the article that I thought answered questions that were posted before mine.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Jun 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Lower court decisions are challenged and reversed frequently.

be patient...i rest my case...

Posted by Daveg, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 11, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Daveg is a registered user.

Ms Cholo, perhaps you could enlighten us on your source of information for your statement "Lower court decisions are challenged and reversed frequently".
If you really would take the time to do the necessary research you could educate yourself on just how foolish that remark was.

Posted by Not likely, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jun 11, 2014 at 7:50 pm

I think that tenure is over as well know it. The chances of this being overturned are remote at best. The attorney representing the students is none other than Ted Olsen who has never lost a case. I guess if you are a good teacher then you have nothing to worry about and if you are a teacher who is suspect then you should have something to fear.

Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jun 12, 2014 at 7:17 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Gene, (or whoever you are)

I acknowledge my mistake, but I stand by my assertion that your comment was the most breathtakingly dumbest comment on this town forum to date.


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