For the second time this week, the defense in Vergara vs. California today turned to a teacher characterized as “ineffective” by a plaintiff in the case to show a starkly different picture.
Vickie Decker, a middle school math teacher, refuted assertions by Jose Macias, the father of student plaintiff, Julia Macias, who had claimed in earlier testimony that Decker was harmful to his daughter’s education.
Decker, who has spent nearly 20 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, challenged those accusations, saying Julia had performed poorly in her class and did not accept her offers to help her with the work.
“In her first semester she did fairly well,” Decker said of Julia, then adding her tests and quiz results in the second semester “were very poor.”
Jose Macias had testified that Decker “demoralized” and “intimidated” his daughter, making her “afraid to ask questions,” prompting her to seek moving to a different class.
Decker’s testimony is important to the defense — the state, the California Teachers Association (CTA) and the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) — in trying to show that students in the case had not suffered with ineffective teachers, and certainly not to the extent that five state laws governing teachers should be struck down.
Beatriz Vergara, Julia Macias and seven other student-plaintiffs are trying to show that their own experiences are evidence of why laws on seniority, dismissals and tenure should be changed to help guarantee access to quality public education for all California students.