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California Case Over Teacher Tenure Laws Continues
posted by: Ruthie | March 28, 2014, 09:43 PM   

debate continues as nine students in California engage in a lawsuit over teacher tenure policies.

The students are calling for longer probationary periods before teachers are granted tenure, a streamlined process for firing underachieving instructors, and an end to “last in, first out,” (LIFO) policies.

The attorney for the students, Theodore Boutrous Jr, argued that teacher tenure policies are preventing students from obtaining a decent education and must be abolished. “When a student has a grossly ineffective teacher, it harms them. It harms them for the rest of their lives,”
Boutrous said.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy testified during the trial that it can take over two years on average to fire an incompetent teacher and sometimes as long as 10 years. Doing so can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $450,000.

Attorney Marcellus McRae noted Deasy’s testimony and said that while an overwhelming number of California teachers are competent, the few bad ones almost always end up at poor, minority school districts, thus depriving their students of their right to a quality education.

“Have we not had enough in this country’s history of short-shafting minority and poor people?” McRae asked. “This is unconscionable. This has to stop.”

While California teachers union officials say tenure policy protections are vital to keeping quality teachers in the profession, a growing number of teachers, districts, and lawmakers disagree with these laws. For example, according to the
2014 AAE member survey, 78% of AAE members disagree with “LIFO” or “last in, first out.” This statistic is 3% more than 2013’s annual survey, demonstrating a growing awareness of LIFO as harmful to students and the teaching profession at large.

The case’s judge, Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu, indicated it could be several weeks before he issues a ruling.

What do you think the ruling should be in this case?
Comment below.


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