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Support Vergara v. California
posted by: Alix | September 28, 2015, 07:08 PM   

In a ruling last year that rocked the world of education, a California Superior Court decided in favor of nine public school students who challenged the state's quality-blind teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws. The Court found that by trapping students in classrooms with ineffective teachers, while pushing many effective teachers out of the classroom, the laws violated students' constitutional right to equal educational opportunity and in particular, disproportionately harmed low-income students and students of color.

Since the court's historic ruling in Vergara v. California, the state of California and its two largest teachers unions have appealed the decision, attempting to block the transformative change that California's six million public school students desperately need.

But that hasn't stopped Students Matter, the organizational sponsor of the student plaintiffs in Vergara. In addition to defending the Vergara ruling both in the courts and in the legislature, Students Matter has helped a group of a group of teachers, parents, and California taxpayers file Doe v. Antioch, a case challenging the collective bargaining agreements of thirteen school districts across California, which expressly violate the state's teacher evaluation law, impacting 250,000 students.

Here's where you come in.

Students Matter seeks to elevate the voices of everyday teachers – not teacher unions– who support quality and accountability in the teaching profession and want education policy to better serve the most vulnerable students, as well as respect, reward and retain effective educators. AAE members are perfect to represent a voice for commonsense reform.

For instance, numerous California Teachers of the Year recently filed an amicus curiae (or "friend of the court") brief in Vergara, urging the Court of Appeal to uphold the trial court's ruling. Another California teacher traveled with Students Matter to Sacramento to speak to legislators about the impact of pending bills on teachers and students. And another teacher published an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times, urging lawmakers to listen to the teachers on the ground when rewriting California's teacher employment laws.

As its work expands nationally, Students Matter is looking to raise the voices of everyday teachers through our communications and advocacy work.

Please contact AAE if you're interested in lending your voice to the movement to transform public education.

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