If a California Superior Court judge rules for the plaintiffs, state legislators will have to rewrite tenure and dismissal laws so they don't so blatantly favor their teachers union allies. Reformers and parents in other states would be encouraged to file similar torts.
A Vergara verdict in favor of reformers (and ultimately, children) would strike another blow to the six decades-old grand bargain the NEA and AFT struck with teachers in which they would lend the unions support for their aims in exchange for better pay and conditions.
This couldn't come at a worse time. Losses to school reformers have already weakened the two unions' political muscle. As I wrote last month, teachers are also dismayed by the profligate spending by the two unions on matters that have nothing to do with their day-to-day concerns.
Even teachers are increasingly questioning whether tenure is useful for themselves and their students. Younger teachers, in particular, think that tenure forces them to work with incompetent colleagues and poorly-taught students. A full 63 percent of teachers surveyed in 2011 by Education Sector said tenure "had very little to do" with the quality of teaching.
But it has everything to do with the union bosses keeping their jobs.