Monday, July 23, 2012

Lawsuit takes aim at California's legal protections for teachers

 DFER-CA, under the leadership of Gloria Romero, is one of the groups behind this powerful new lawsuit in CA:

California's teachers have long been protected by a series of state laws -- lobbied into existence by powerful teachers unions -- that make the ineffective ones almost impossible to fire.

Now, in the largest state lawsuit of kind, a new organization called Students Matter, advised by the key players behind the controversial "Parent Trigger" law, alleges in L.A. Superior Court that strict tenure and seniority rules are ruining the K-12 system:

"These laws force school administrators to grant new teachers 'permanent employment' after only 18 months on the job -- well before the teachers' effectiveness can be determined -- and force school administrators to keep teachers in the classroom long after they have demonstrated themselves to be grossly ineffective."


Here's another article about it in the LA Times:


A Bay Area nonprofit backed partly by groups known for battling teachers unions has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn five California laws that, they say, make it too difficult to dismiss ineffective teachers.

The suit, filed on behalf of eight students, takes aim at California laws that govern teacher tenure rules, seniority protections and the teacher dismissal process.

"A handful of outdated laws passed by the California Legislature are preventing school administrators from maintaining or improving the quality of our public educational system," according to the lawsuit, which was filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court and announced Tuesday.

The group behind the legal action is the newly formed Students Matter. The founder is Silicon Valley entrepreneur David F. Welch and the group's funders include the foundation of L.A. philanthropist Eli Broad.

The suit contends that teachers can earn tenure protections too quickly — in two years — well before their fitness for long-term employment can be determined. The suit also seeks to invalidate the practice of first laying off less experienced teachers during a budget crisis, rather than keeping the best teachers. And it takes aim at a dismissal process that, it alleges, is too costly, too lengthy and typically results in ineffective teachers holding on to jobs.

The move to address teacher quality has become a national issue from the Obama administration on down. In California, officials supported by powerful teachers unions have been reluctant or opposed to changing teacher job protections. Advocates, instead, are turning to the courts.


Lawsuit takes aim at California's legal protections for teachers

A Bay Area nonprofit targets teacher tenure rules, seniority protections and the dismissal process. Foes say it wants to weaken public sector unions.

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

May 16, 2012,0,6292585.story


Michelle Rhee, 'Parent Trigger' Supporters Are Behind Huge L.A. Lawsuit to Strip Teachers of Job Protection

By Simone Wilson Tue., May 15 2012 at 11:45 AM

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