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

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

I double-checked — and 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

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Runs for office sometimes, so far to offer a challenge to someone nasty who would otherwise have run unopposed. Someday he might pick a fight intending to win it rather than just to dent someone. You'll know it when you see it. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. A family member works part-time as a campaign treasurer. He doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he hated. He does advise some local campaigns informally and generally without compensation. If that changes, he will declare the interest. He also runs a less frequently published blog called "The Brean," for his chosen hometown, where he is now fighting with its wealthiest and most avaricious citizen-donors. This just seems to be his way.