Well, that has been the story for public school teachers in California and in many states throughout the nation. That is, until the nonprofit group Students Matter filed lawsuit--Vergara v. California--on behalf of 9 public school students. In the filing, the plaintiffs charge that tenure and layoff rules protect so many ineffective teachers that students--more oftentimes than not low-income and minority students--do not receive the education that is guaranteed by California's Constitution.
The trial took two months with “final” arguments heard in late March and both parties having submitted written briefs by April 10. A ruling is due within 90 days...sometime in early July.
According to Stateline, Vegara v. California is but one effort to change tenure and dismissal rules. For example:
- North Carolina and South Dakota have ended their tenure systems.
- Arizona has made firing poorly performing teachers easier.
- Connecticut has made it easier for school districts to decline to renew teacher contracts.
- Some school districts across the nation are experimenting with performance pay.
- Other school districts are linking tenure with teacher evaluations.
If the plaintffs prevail, Vegara v. California could have a ripple effect across the nation, one making it much easier to remove ineffective teachers from public school classrooms. Tenure would be upended and firings would be based on performance not seniority.
Isn't that generally how it is in non-public schools?
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Stateline report, click on the following link:
To chronicle Vegara v. California, click on the following link: