Commentary: Vergara’s dissenting justices write for history
In the long struggle to make the United States more just and perfect, court majorities have made some horrific mistakes. When that happens, the burden falls on dissents to provide hope for the future arc of the moral universe. Such dissents often come from the most distinguished jurists. Benjamin Curtis, for instance, was the first...
By Dmitri Mehlhorn | August 24, 2016
Teacher tenure bill defeated in committee
State lawmakers on Wednesday once again failed to amend teacher tenure laws, this time rejecting a bill that would have extended the probationary period from two to three years — even after the bill was stripped of its boldest language. The bill, AB 934, sponsored by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, was defeated 5-2, with two...
By Sarah Favot | June 29, 2016
Commentary: A promising bill on teacher effectiveness is gutted in backroom deal
By Ben Austin Last month, my organization, Students Matter, issued its support of California’s AB 934 – a state bill that, though imperfect, honestly attempted to address the grave defaults in the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws challenged by the student plaintiffs in Vergara v. California. (A 2014 ruling in that case sided...
By Guest contributor | June 27, 2016
Commentary: Parents want legislature to act on teacher tenure
By Jenny Hontz When LA School Report reported this week that 181 LAUSD staffers are currently being paid to sit around and do nothing while they are investigated for alleged misconduct, costing the district $15 million a year, school board members expressed surprise. The numbers are staggering, but it should be no surprise to anyone that...
By LA School Report | June 24, 2016
Judges jump in during Vergara arguments
Even before the deputy attorney general got to finish a single statement, the 2nd District Court of Appeals justices hearing a landmark education case Thursday jumped in to ask questions. How do you tell if a teacher is “grossly ineffective”? Is there proof that discrimination has occurred? What is the impact on the state? For...
By Mike Szymanski | February 25, 2016
Court hears oral arguments for Vergara appeals Thursday
Arguments in one of the most important lawsuits involving public education will be heard Thursday morning in the state Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. The case of Vergara v. California seeks to overturn five laws involving teacher tenure, dismissals and the last-in, first-out layoff policies. The case was brought on behalf of nine students in five...
By Mike Szymanski | February 24, 2016