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

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney and General Counsel of CATER. His anti-corruption work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, leading them to work with the Democratic Party of Orange County Chair and other co-conspirators (who had long detested the internal oversight his presence provided) to remove him from the position of DPOC North Vice Chair of in violation of party rules and any semblance of due process. He also runs for office sometimes. Unless otherwise specifically stated, none of his writings prior to that lawless putsch ever spoke 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 Beautiful Bountiful Brea, but while he may brag about it he generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for candidates including 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 (except where noted) without compensation.