California Judge Orders an End to Teacher Tenure; Obama’s Education Secretary Applauds


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Dunce cap

Let’s hear from all you boisterous opponents of judicial activism! Don’t all speak at once now!

I double-checked — and CNN.com is not a parody site.  This is apparently real.  A court declared teacher tenure rules unconstitutional — and the Education Secretary to a Democratic President welcomed the change as an opportunity to improve the system.

A California judge ruled as unconstitutional Tuesday the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws, saying they keep bad teachers in the classroom and force out the good ones, the plaintiffs said.  [N.b.: The decision was stayed pending expected appeal.]

The ruling was hailed by the nation’s top education chief as bringing to California — and possibly the nation — an opportunity to build “a new framework for the teaching profession.” The decision represented “a mandate” to fix a broken teaching system, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said.

“We are deeply disappointed, but not surprised, by this decision. Like the lawsuit itself, today’s ruling is deeply flawed. This lawsuit has nothing to do with what’s best for kids, but was manufactured by a Silicon Valley millionaire and a corporate PR firm to undermine the teaching profession and push their agenda on our schools,” CTA President Dean E. Vogel said in a statement.

The union described Students Matter as a group created by Silicon Valley multimillionaire David Welch and a private public relations firm and said the group is supported by former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor “Michelle Rhee and Students First, Parent Revolution Executive Director Ben Austin, billionaire and school privatizer Eli Broad, former lawmaker Gloria Romero, and other corporate education reformers with an interest in privatizing public education and attacking teachers’ unions.”

Let me imagine the “new framework for the teaching profession” proclaimed by Secretary Duncan from the perspective of my work as a plaintiff’s employment attorney”

OK, everyone who doesn’t agree with the school administrators, please go stand in that corner.

Everyone else, you still have jobs.

Would you get your teaching degree under these conditions?  Would you want your children to do so?  And, if you answer “no,” that’s good for students how?


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.