Sign up for the EdSource Symposium today! Registration ends September 28th
Students, parents and school officials stand at a podium to talk about their lawsuit.

Credit: California School Boards Association

Plaintiffs in the Robles-Wong v. State of California lawsuit announce the case at a press conference in Sacramento on May 20, 2010.

Vergara v. State of California, in which a Superior Court judge struck down California’s teacher tenure, layoff and dismissal laws, may be headed for a lengthy appeals process. A clue to how long may lie in another far-from-resolved education lawsuit.

This month marks three years since Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven Brick issued a tentative ruling in Robles-Wong v. State of California, which charged the state’s education funding was inadequate. And while it could happen this year, there’s no knowing when a Court of Appeal will rule on upholding or overturning Brick’s ruling in the case.

Lawyers are quick to say there is no precise timeline for moving a case through the appeals process. But the course of Robles-Wong may temper the expectations of those hoping that Vergara might take months, not years, to resolve.

On June 10, after a two-month trial, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu issued his tentative ruling in Vergara, declaring unconstitutional five state laws providing teachers’ employment rights. The lawsuit was brought by Students Matter, a nonprofit created by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch on behalf of nine low-income, minority students from five school districts. Treu put his ruling on hold, pending an all-but-certain appeal by the state and its co-defendants, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers.

Right to adequate funding

Before Vergara shifted the public’s attention to teacher protection laws, it was Robles-Wong and a companion case, Campaign for Quality Education v. California, that made headlines as the big education cases in California. The Robles-Wong lawsuit was filed in 2010 by three state education organizations – the California School Boards Association, the Association of California School Administrators and the state PTA, with the California Teachers Association later joining the case – along with Stanford Law School professor Bill Koski and pro bono attorneys on behalf of nine school districts and 60 students from across the state.

Campaign for Quality Education v. California was filed that same summer by the nonprofit law firm Public Advocates on behalf of a coalition of community groups serving low-income and minority students. Both cases eventually were merged.

Filed amid the recession, when the Legislature slashed K-12 spending by about 15 percent, the two lawsuits charged that the state’s “insufficient, irrational and unstable” funding of education violated children’s constitutional right to a sound education. Lawyers presented evidence of crowded classrooms, insufficient college-credit and elective courses, a shortage of counselors and librarians and insufficient money at the time to implement the Common Core State Standards. The lack of resources, they argued, prevented most students from mastering the state’s academic requirements and standards and didn’t prepare them for success in the 21st century.

But Brick took a hard line, ruling that it was the Legislature’s prerogative to determine what constitutes adequate funding. There is no equal protection right in the state Constitution for students harmed by inadequate funding, “however devastating the effects of such underfunding have been on the quality of public school education,” he wrote.

Brick did give the plaintiffs the option to narrow the case by asserting the claim that the state’s level of funding disproportionately disadvantaged minority children. That’s the thrust of the case that lawyers for the plaintiffs in Vergara v. California successfully made. They argued the statutes governing tenure, dismissal and layoffs led to the hiring and retention of a small but significant percentage of the worst-performing teachers, who were then concentrated at schools with large numbers of low-income and minority students.But lawyers for the plaintiffs in Robles-Wong and the Campaign for Quality Education insist that, besides being unfair for minority students, state funding is inadequate for the vast majority of California’s children, and so took the case to a three-judge panel of the California First Court of Appeal in fall 2011.

Next step: oral arguments

That’s where it is now. A court of appeal does not hear new testimony. It takes the same body of evidence that was presented to the trial judge and then reviews it to see if it supports the trial judge’s conclusion. The appeals court also invites both sides to offer written briefs and rebuttals, including briefs from groups with a direct interest in the case. These were all submitted in Robles-Wong by January 2013.

Students Matter attorney Marcellus McRae said there are ways to expedite the process “to bring the benefit of the ruling as quickly as possible,” but declined to discuss the tactics they may be considering.

The final stage will be one day of oral arguments. But appellate judges usually don’t schedule that, attorneys say, until they know how they are leaning in the case and perhaps have written most of their decision. That’s because court rules require them to issue a decision within 60 days of oral arguments.

The court of appeal hasn’t yet scheduled the date for oral arguments in Robles-Wong. A year and a half without a decision is on the longish side, attorneys say, but not exceptionally long. Whoever loses in the Court of Appeal could then take the case to the state Supreme Court, a process that could add another year or two. So it could be late 2015 or 2016 before the Supreme Court rules – five or six years after the initial suit was filed.

Because the case involves the right of education as defined in the state constitution, federal courts would have no jurisdiction to second-guess the outcome. Vergara might not take that long, though it’s one month behind schedule already. Treu has extended the date for issuing his final decision, which could contain significant wording changes, by 30 days, to late August. The state would then have 60 days to file an appeal.

Attorneys for Students Matter could try to speed things up by going directly to the state Supreme Court, but it would be unusual for the court to take the case directly, since there’s no pressing need to rule on it. Students Matter attorney Marcellus McRae said there are ways to expedite the process “to bring the benefit of the ruling as quickly as possible,” but declined to discuss the tactics they may be considering.

If the Court of Appeal eventually agreed with Treu and upheld his ruling, McRae said his team would ask the court to put the ruling into effect immediately, without a grace period. That would wipe out the current laws that establish tenure, or permanent status, for teachers after two years, guarantee layoffs based on seniority and create complex due-process procedures before a teacher can be fired.

“Based on the ruling and the evidence, there is no reason to delay this,” McRae said in an interview.

If state laws were voided, teachers would fall back on narrower due process rights guaranteed to all California public employees, called Skelly Rights. They include a notice of termination, a right to respond to it and a hearing before an impartial observer. “Basic due process rights were never under assault in the case, because teachers already have them,” McRae said. The Court of Appeal, like Treu, also could put its ruling on hold until the Supreme Court makes a final decision.

Lawmakers don’t have to wait

The other option is the Legislature amending the laws in response to Treu’s ruling – something that McRae said he would encourage. Neither Welch nor the attorneys have stated explicitly what they’re looking for: an end to tenure or just a longer probationary period leading up to it? Totally rewritten dismissal laws or just a less expensive, shorter process?

McRae said that the “ultimate arbiter” would be the courts. “You cannot have laws that are inconsistent with the ruling in the case and operate out of the bounds of the Constitution. That’s the point of checks and balances,” he said.

Some Republican lawmakers, including Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, have called for action, but, with an appeal likely, Democratic leaders have shown no sign yet that they intend to get involved, at least this year. Students Matter is wasting no time, however. With Treu’s strongly worded ruling behind it, Welch plans to meet with citizens groups and lawmakers in coming months to talk about the implications of the decision. And he is going to other states to discuss lawsuits and legislative reforms of tenure and other labor laws. A group in New York may be the first, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The courts could take years to mull over Treu’s decision and eventually overturn it. Welch, meanwhile, is vigorously working the court of public opinion. It is not bound by delays or rules of evidence, and it is open 24/7.


Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Comments Policy

The goal of the comments section on EdSource is to facilitate thoughtful conversation about content published on our website. Click here for EdSource's Comments Policy.

Expand Comments
Collapse Comments
  1. Replies

    • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      And here UESF is defiant and holding rallies and making videos denouncing Vergara. It is sad. I don't see why the union can't come together with the administrators and craft a system which will protect truly good teachers and avoid the proposal by Students Matter (or alleged proposal) to make mass firings by principals allowable with no due process, for political or cost saving reasons, and for arbitrary reasons, and the current system … Read More

      And here UESF is defiant and holding rallies and making videos denouncing Vergara. It is sad. I don’t see why the union can’t come together with the administrators and craft a system which will protect truly good teachers and avoid the proposal by Students Matter (or alleged proposal) to make mass firings by principals allowable with no due process, for political or cost saving reasons, and for arbitrary reasons, and the current system where bad teachers stay on the job for decades in some cases and absence from work is at unacceptably high levels. Can’t we find a compromise between these extremes.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        What proposal?

        • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          The union always claims that the Vergara Lawsuit, the film 'Waiting for Superman', Students First, Michelle Rhee, Students Matter, are all part of a proposal/plot by billionaires to do the following: A. Privatize all public education to funnel billions of dollars in profits to the top 1% and mostly to a few billionaires. B. Make it so older teachers are fired because they cost more. C. Enable Principals to fire arbitrarily and at will based on personal politics, … Read More

          The union always claims that the Vergara Lawsuit, the film ‘Waiting for Superman’, Students First, Michelle Rhee, Students Matter, are all part of a proposal/plot by billionaires to do the following:

          A. Privatize all public education to funnel billions of dollars in profits to the top 1% and mostly to a few billionaires.

          B. Make it so older teachers are fired because they cost more.

          C. Enable Principals to fire arbitrarily and at will based on personal politics, friendships, etc., not based on performance, ability, value add or anything else.

          D. Drive down teacher wages by threatening to fire those who argue.

          E. Destroy any union representation.

          F. Control politics by firing teachers for unpopular opinions, or in some cases I’ve seen scenarios where teachers will be fired for popular opinions. One union supporter said those who teach evolution would be fired.

          My point is, can we find a compromise which guarantees none of the above 6 proposals will become the practice, but at the same time guarantee truly bad teachers who last for decades no longer do so, that it is possible to fire bad teachers as much as most professions, engineers, programmers, marketing, sales. Not arbitrarily and in large numbers, but with 2 expedited rounds of due process so principals are encouraged to rather than intimidated from using termination to improve teacher quality for children.

          I believe we can.

          I don’t believe the proposals those like Gary and Caroline say are the aim of these groups are the real aim of these groups. I believe the concern is with bad teachers who last a long time and hurt many children by their incompetence and sometimes worse.

          • Celeste Phooey Condon 2 years ago2 years ago

            That is what would end up happening if you and Don were in charge. No one would care about our sacrifice, our struggle, the teacher suicides as a result of public humiliation by test score publishing, all of it. If we didn’t make money for the corporations controlled by the Illuminati, we’d be fired. Or worse. Kids would become irrelevant. Profit would become king.

  2. CarolineSF 2 years ago2 years ago

    I have an interesting piece of anecdotal information in response to the reference to Mark Berndt. I learned that a friend used to teach with him back before his assaults against children were exposed and knew him fairly well. She believes this was before he was committing the sexual assaults. This is out of left field, but she tells me he was an excellent teacher by all the gauges a "reformer" or any sincere observer … Read More

    I have an interesting piece of anecdotal information in response to the reference to Mark Berndt. I learned that a friend used to teach with him back before his assaults against children were exposed and knew him fairly well. She believes this was before he was committing the sexual assaults. This is out of left field, but she tells me he was an excellent teacher by all the gauges a “reformer” or any sincere observer would use — his classroom management skills were good; his students’ achievement was impressive; he was generally respected.

    Observers on all sides of the war on teachers agree that LAUSD swatted away, failed to act upon and generally ignored reports of Berndt’s perverted behavior for quite a long time, with no involvement by any teachers’ union in the matter. So my friend’s observation may have shed some light on that.

    Replies

    • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      Caroline, Berndt is why tenure should never apply and principal discretion, peer reviews, student and teacher reviews and yes, test scores, should be included. If you get better with experience, you have to prove it. I agree, Berndt spent many years as a good teacher before he felt free to commit such heinous crimes. I don't so much fault LAUSD as much as I fault the union for defending him after they … Read More

      Caroline, Berndt is why tenure should never apply and principal discretion, peer reviews, student and teacher reviews and yes, test scores, should be included. If you get better with experience, you have to prove it. I agree, Berndt spent many years as a good teacher before he felt free to commit such heinous crimes. I don’t so much fault LAUSD as much as I fault the union for defending him after they knew what he did. They threatened lawsuits and forced LAUSD to pay him the $40k. If they would have backed off, he could have been fired for cause immediately with no pay. They defended him like he was a noble cause, which shows they are closed off to the idea that some teachers should be fired.

      Whenever we propose anything to change it, they put up a nightmare scenario of principals firing everyone for no reason and never proactively, constructively, suggest a fairer system which would decrease absences and improve teaching effort and quality. It’s always we can fire no teacher ever except for extreme offenders and maybe 2 a year statewide for quality, or we can have evil power mad principals fire teachers because they cost too much as they age or for speaking out on a noble social issue or for personality reasons. Why doesn’t anyone from your side ever try to suggest something in the middle, a plan where all teachers feel pressure to work harder and truly bad ones are fired but where there is due process for a round to make sure things are fair? I’ve never seen it. I just see the Catch 22 nightmare.

      It’s not just Berndt, it’s every teacher who sticks kids with a sub so they can stay home just because they feel like it, it’s mediocre teachers, it’s the whole system. It hasn’t put kids first. Even now you’re individualizing it rather than looking at the bigger picture.

      Also when you call it a war on teachers that is PR language as well. If you suggest the LAUSD beaters of Rodney King or drug theft scandal cops should be fired, is it a war on cops? If you suggest a cleaning of house at City College of the least effective administrators, who got the college suspended, is it a war on administrators? In my view, if you think no teacher should ever be fired unless it takes 2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though you know children would learn more and get higher test scores if teachers called in sick less, felt pressure and worked harder and even if some bad ones were fired, you’re engaging in a war on children. I think you care more about adult job security than class mobility and children’s test scores.

      • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Caroline, I have one question. What do you feel would be the best teacher employment system you could set up in terms of which would maximize test scores on the international comparison tests, i.e. which would maximize math and reading comprehension scores, essay writing ability, knowledge of science history, economics and social studies, etc? Which system would lead to the highest average SAT score? Assuming there is no state law making tenure … Read More

        Caroline, I have one question. What do you feel would be the best teacher employment system you could set up in terms of which would maximize test scores on the international comparison tests, i.e. which would maximize math and reading comprehension scores, essay writing ability, knowledge of science history, economics and social studies, etc? Which system would lead to the highest average SAT score? Assuming there is no state law making tenure mandatory, and you were able to put in any system you wished with test scores paramount, which would you choose?

  3. CarolineSF 2 years ago2 years ago

    I've watched a lot of the mainstream media's Vergara coverage use the PR language disseminated by the plaintiffs' publicity agent without noting -- without even being aware -- that it WAS PR language. The use of PR language is widely discussed in newsrooms (for example, there have been shifting policies on terms like "pro-life" and "pro-choice"), but the press has been snookered by some of this, since it's an arcane issue. As the wife of … Read More

    I’ve watched a lot of the mainstream media’s Vergara coverage use the PR language disseminated by the plaintiffs’ publicity agent without noting — without even being aware — that it WAS PR language. The use of PR language is widely discussed in newsrooms (for example, there have been shifting policies on terms like “pro-life” and “pro-choice”), but the press has been snookered by some of this, since it’s an arcane issue.

    As the wife of a teacher and a mainstream journalist myself, I have to recuse myself on this and related issues and observe from the sidelines.

    That issue — the use of PR language disseminated by the plaintiffs’ press agent — prompted my original comment. The difficulty of tracking threads on this site seems to have confused people about what I was referring to. So I see amid a vast amount of irrelevant ranting about me some claims that I’ve discussed things I haven’t ever commented on. It’s not worth untangling them and pointing out the places where I wasn’t the one who made this or that comment, so I’ll just make a blanket disclaimer. I did write a blog post on the Overton window some years ago, so I appreciate that whoever referred to it has such excellent recall of my golden words.

  4. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    I'm kind of amazed that the progressive voices on this blog have not recognized in their zeal for the statutes and through tactically-minded shortsightedness the potential, as a result of this ruling, for dramatic increases in the number of equality of opportunity cases and more judicial intrusion - a core progressive tenant. Progressives should be heartened by the potential created to sue the state over inequality, as the test for it has just been … Read More

    I’m kind of amazed that the progressive voices on this blog have not recognized in their zeal for the statutes and through tactically-minded shortsightedness the potential, as a result of this ruling, for dramatic increases in the number of equality of opportunity cases and more judicial intrusion – a core progressive tenant. Progressives should be heartened by the potential created to sue the state over inequality, as the test for it has just been lowered by Treu’s decision. In fact, if the appellants succeed it will probably be on the basis that the lower court overstepped its bounds. The court has never done a good job of directing education policy by fiat. Unfortunately, neither has the legislature. There’s plenty of opportunity for a middle ground in employment law, balancing the needs of teacher with those of students, especially since the current law is so draconian. This may be viewed by some as a loss for teacher rights, but it is a great victory for those who think publicly funded education is the front line in the defense of equality. The floods gates have opened.

    Replies

    • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      My big question of Caroline is, would you volunteer for Students Matter to make sure to eliminate any negative technicalities? Would you sacrifice evenings and weekends to help this, or would you quietly and sneakily ignore the process, avoid it until it goes to court, and then comb though the decision looking for a technicality which negatively impacts the decision but not spend any time looking for factors which would help improve teaching for … Read More

      My big question of Caroline is, would you volunteer for Students Matter to make sure to eliminate any negative technicalities? Would you sacrifice evenings and weekends to help this, or would you quietly and sneakily ignore the process, avoid it until it goes to court, and then comb though the decision looking for a technicality which negatively impacts the decision but not spend any time looking for factors which would help improve teaching for children? I don’t remember you being involved in helping them organize this and avoid this. If you’re so focused on technicalities, call them, get involved while the suit is being put together next time. Your criticisms ring hollow because you were not helpful when this was being put together. Don and I were. You were nowhere to be found. Now you’re outraged at a technicality, but at the time you were waiting in the bushes like a hunger hoping they’d make a minor mistake you could pounce on and eat like a hunter. You are not being intellectually honest in this statement. You’re showing selective amnesia. If you’re goint to select, choose the factors which help children and analyze the larger picture.

      • Jennifer Takata 2 years ago2 years ago

        Floyd you are addressing Caroline intellectually even though you caught her point from the get go. It's what's in her heart which is the problem, not what's in her brain. She knows the union proponents obsessively try to prevent any statistical information from being gathered because they will inevitably prove not all teachers are equal and bad teachers are harming children, but then she says there's no statistical evidence. The Democrat Party Structure doesn't want true … Read More

        Floyd you are addressing Caroline intellectually even though you caught her point from the get go. It’s what’s in her heart which is the problem, not what’s in her brain. She knows the union proponents obsessively try to prevent any statistical information from being gathered because they will inevitably prove not all teachers are equal and bad teachers are harming children, but then she says there’s no statistical evidence.

        The Democrat Party Structure doesn’t want true mobility, they want socialism. They don’t want poor kids to become rich. In the current system, children with educated mothers do much better than others. To change this, you need great teachers, innovative programs, extra services, and grade focused, educationally obsessed parents, which Caroline was not as noted in previous posts, and other change. If we have a status quo, the kids with college educated mothers will hold all positions of power, Not surprisingly, an educated mother like Caroline finds no problem with that. We can all just raise our kids to accept the status quo and be happy and let natural advantages of class determine who gets the best positions in life.

        This is why the Democratic Party will implode and become corrupt. They want their advantages and to throw crumbs to the poor, let them eat cake. Raise minimum wage, tax the rich a bit more, but make sure the basic social structure stays as is, which means it’s more important to keep teachers in their place than revolutionize education and focus on helping all kids have an opportunity to improve their life.

        Caroline is a socialist. She doesn’t want poor kids to grow up to be entrepreneurs any more than socialists want poor people to become home owners. By controlling them and keeping them in their place, they can advance socialism. San Francisco doesn’t want to enable half it’s population to own homes and obsesses over retaining rental stock, because renters vote socialist. Owners can become empowered, but it’s better they move to suburbs so that the socialist power structure is retained.

        It is the same with education. Caroline wouldn’t help the suit because she isn’t reading the case wishing they had found 10 perfectly poor and minority families who had been harmed, which she knows is easy to do. When she finds the mistake, she isn’t mad, she’s delighted, thrilled, because it enables her to maintain the present power structure. She’s thrilled. She wouldn’t want them to have found 10 who had been harmed. And why is the focus on 9 or 10? Because the goal isn’t to fix education for all children and give all kids a chance at the American Dream. The goal is to keep up the status quo in which the children of the educated mothers hold all the power.

      • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        I agree with that John. My only issue is that if it is an intellectual debate, if others make points, I reply to them individually. I don't ever ignore certain points and reply to others. I try to be intellectually both honest, and thorough. If it is on an intellectual level, that would be the most effective debate. I think Don and I proved our points pretty solidly and many … Read More

        I agree with that John. My only issue is that if it is an intellectual debate, if others make points, I reply to them individually. I don’t ever ignore certain points and reply to others. I try to be intellectually both honest, and thorough. If it is on an intellectual level, that would be the most effective debate. I think Don and I proved our points pretty solidly and many inconvenient points were ignored by others. I fully admit a couple plaintiffs were white, I just feel that’s fairly inconsequential compared to the rest of the issue. Also, whites being in integrated public schools is a good thing, and if we want that, we need to give them the protection from bad teachers all students get if they go private or move to suburbs, to encourage diversity. You wrote a great article and I took umbrage to her criticism of you.

  5. Manuel 2 years ago2 years ago

    John, I am under the impression from reading some of the filings in the Vergara case that several of the plaintiffs are not, in fact, "nine low-income, minority students." If so, is it appropriate to use such language in your article? I am concerned that including it, apart from not being true, produces an undeserved "halo" effect on the plaintiffs. Plus it makes Vergara opponents appear as heartless haters of "low income, minority students." And we … Read More

    John, I am under the impression from reading some of the filings in the Vergara case that several of the plaintiffs are not, in fact, “nine low-income, minority students.” If so, is it appropriate to use such language in your article? I am concerned that including it, apart from not being true, produces an undeserved “halo” effect on the plaintiffs.

    Plus it makes Vergara opponents appear as heartless haters of “low income, minority students.” And we wouldn’t want that, would we? 😉

    Replies

    • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

      I agree they should have had 100 plaintiffs. However, in these cases, I think there is another side. Maybe if they have too many, people will find more things to complain about. Even with 9, they're saying they mistakenly chose a couple good teachers, even though we know there are many grossly ineffective teachers in the system, anyone in the real world being honest knows there are teachers like this. There … Read More

      I agree they should have had 100 plaintiffs. However, in these cases, I think there is another side. Maybe if they have too many, people will find more things to complain about. Even with 9, they’re saying they mistakenly chose a couple good teachers, even though we know there are many grossly ineffective teachers in the system, anyone in the real world being honest knows there are teachers like this. There is often an unstated side. I believe when you look at how Caroline and others ignore certain points yet obsessively focus on others, you see why they have to be careful. I believe some kids were white, or one.

      I don’t think we should focus on these 9 students and the specific teachers. I think it would be more constructive to do the following.

      Imagine you are starting a system from scratch, no baggage, no rigid state laws backed by manipulative moneyed unions willing to push anyone who opposes them out of office, no fear. We just intellectually construct an employment structure which is designed to maximize educational benefit to children.

      Would you make it a multi-year, 6 figure plus process to fire a bad teacher? Probably not. Would you let any prinicpal fire any teacher for their opinion politically at any time wihtout warning, or allow older teachers to be fired en masse? Probably not. Would you make pay double from a first year teacher to a latter stage teacher? Probably not. Would you have some incentives based on attendance, performance, etc? Probably.

      This is the main part I don’t get. The union supporters seem to be saying that we should make it almost impossible to ever fire a teacher or have any pay, promotion, transfer, etc. based on say performance reviews, reference checking, test scores, or anything else because if we change the status quo, cats and dogs will live together and evil billionaires will turn the schools into a corporation and teachers will be fired en masse for unfair reasons.

      There’s no reason we can’t come up with a middle ground. We can do anything we want now. Before this case, we were extremely limited, and now we can create a fair and effective system.

      They don’t deserve a halo but nor do teachers. When you attack anyone who doesn’t agree with the status quo as “defaming thousands of noble educators” you do a disservice to children.

      Teachers are no different than members of any profession, some are good and some are bad. Let’s create something new. Let’s face it, when the union defended Berndt and a number of others, they lost any right to be seen as putting children first. There is no argument that defending Berndt helped kids, it proved they automatically defend anyone.

    • CarolineSF 2 years ago2 years ago

      No, it’s not appropriate for unbiased journalism to use the PR-oriented language of one side as though it were impartial and factual.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        The number nine is incorrect, but that is not PR from the plaintiffs. That's just a numerical mistake by John, who otherwise wrote an excellent and balanced article on the subject as usual. The fact that 2 or 3 of the students are white underscores the assertion that not ALL students affected by ineffective teachers are AA or L, but that minorities are disproportionately affected. Hence they make up the majority of plaintiffs. There … Read More

        The number nine is incorrect, but that is not PR from the plaintiffs. That’s just a numerical mistake by John, who otherwise wrote an excellent and balanced article on the subject as usual. The fact that 2 or 3 of the students are white underscores the assertion that not ALL students affected by ineffective teachers are AA or L, but that minorities are disproportionately affected. Hence they make up the majority of plaintiffs. There are ineffective teachers in higher performing schools, but the problems is worse in lower performers. This fact is not the area of contention in the suit. Both sides agreed that there are ineffective teachers and that there is a disproportionate affect. The case as to do with the how and the why and whether the statutes are at fault.

        Caroline, why attack one of the most balanced writers on the scene? Given the sheet quantity of excellent output by John and to his credit, I am surprised this small error is all you can point to as self-appointed editor of Ed Source. It’ s enough to point out the error as Manuel did. It seems to me that John goes the extra mile to balance his writing and particularly so given the politically charged nature of the issue. My personal criticism of the site has more to do with the fact that it tends to highlight the positives and avoid conflict which may have to do with the fact that all the people who work at Ed Source are education proponents and they don’t want to throw gas on the fire with education under siege as it is.

      • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

        Besides since when is an ideologue like yourself an expert on unbiased journalism? I know your game. You just want to push your beloved Overton window to the left so that so-called neutral reporting is liberal-leaning and political bias is presented as fact. Well, newsflash! Ed Source is already there.

      • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Caroline, your heart is really in the wrong place here. It's not what's in your mind now but what's in your heart that is hurting poor children. Why focus on the fact that a couple kids are white? There are literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of kids who were hurt by this practice and still are. Even Lowell has some atrocious teachers. You don't address many points and … Read More

        Caroline, your heart is really in the wrong place here. It’s not what’s in your mind now but what’s in your heart that is hurting poor children. Why focus on the fact that a couple kids are white? There are literally hundreds of thousands if not millions of kids who were hurt by this practice and still are. Even Lowell has some atrocious teachers. You don’t address many points and obsessively focus on anything that defends the status quo. This empowerment of principals and chance to get rid of the deadwood has more power to help educate disadvantaged children and shake up the status quo than any event of the past 20 years.

        Caroline, you ignore almost all points, but tell me this. Knowing how long these things take, do you actually think we ought to make them start over and delay this benefit to children 5 years based on a technicality? The legislature is terrified of this issue as is Brown, bought and paid for. They don’t express any willingness to even think about this, they stay silent and obedient.

        Let me ask you this, if your energy is so focused on technicalities, if they do start over, would you be willing to sit in with Students Matters and help them next time? Would you be willing to recruit more accurate plaintiffs and look at what they are doing before it goes to court to help them eliminate factors which don’t fit and add more which do? I actually organized 10 parents to speak with them in San Francisco, and none of them were in the suit and they all had similar experiences. Some were Latino and one was black. You know they can’t combine districts, they have to choose one district, just like the pledge of allegiance case was thrown out on a technicality of the father not being custodian and had to be delayed 5 years, if this one chooses 20-30 plaintiffs, there are more odds of a technicality delaying the whole good of the case being felt.

        So you think any human being works harder with no fear whatsoever of ever being fired? Would you make sure to call in sick the absolute minimum if you had no fear of firing, or would you take a “mental health” day when you felt stressed, causing educational damage to an entire classroom of children? Would this help children?

        Your absolute intellectual failure to look at the bigger picture is quite telling Caroline. Your heart is in the wrong place on this. We will never close the achievement gap and enable poor children to escape poverty if our priorities are obsessively making life easier for one favored group of adults with deep pockets. I agree teachers are underpaid, but the few bad ones hurt the many good ones. I won’t vote for big pay increases so long as this issue has not been dealt with and studies show a majority of voters agree. Let’s focus on the big picture Caroline. Let’s raise pay but also raise productivity and throw the failed status quo into the dustbin of history for our deserving children.

        • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

          Edsource, I thought ad hominem attacks were against the rules.

          • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

            It's not an ad hominem attack Navigio. Caroline ignores many points and just combs through the decision looking for something unsubstantial to complain about. Now you see why they don't want 100 plaintiffs, as Caroline is demanding. If they could trust people like Caroline to look at the impact on all children and provide a balanced perspective with children's long-term economic interests in their heart at least equally with concern for teachers, … Read More

            It’s not an ad hominem attack Navigio. Caroline ignores many points and just combs through the decision looking for something unsubstantial to complain about. Now you see why they don’t want 100 plaintiffs, as Caroline is demanding. If they could trust people like Caroline to look at the impact on all children and provide a balanced perspective with children’s long-term economic interests in their heart at least equally with concern for teachers, they could have a broader group of plaintiffs. The reality is that the opponents will ignore anything which shows some kids are hurt by some bad teachers, and obsessively point out any mistakes. This shows the problem is not with the brain, it’s with the heart. I acknowledge that many, even the vast majority, of teachers are very good, and acknowledge that we must prevent arbitrary firings. I acknowledge that some students don’t have bad teachers. The other side doesn’t acknowledge that some teachers are bad and last for a long time. They pretend that there are no bad teachers hurting poor children. They even complain that there isn’t enough data and simultaneously try to prevent data from being gathered and published, as they did with the teacher ratings in Los Angeles. That was massively complained about by the union, only to be followed now by claims there isn’t evidence that some teachers are grossly inefective.. That’s why I call her out and ask if she’s upset that there was a minor error, if she’ll help them gather data and make it right next time, or if inreality she will be quiet proving she isn’t upset, she’s delighted and just taking advantage of it. It’s not intellectually honest and it shows that the opposition is leading with bad hearts, not with faulty logic. The logic is so consistently faulty and ignores so many points it’s laughable, but the reason is the bad hearts lead the brain to ignore most facts and pay attention to only a few. It is sad that we can’t all put children first and lead with our hearts and follow with our brains to find what’s best for all children. Let’s remember, teachers are there to provide service to children, and the fact that this provides a living is secondary, the primary is providing equal opportunity to all children.

            • John Fensterwald 2 years ago2 years ago

              Jennifer, Floyd: You don’t know what is in Caroline’s heart nor do you know her private thoughts. Speculating on what you assume she thinks to make points is, as you would say, intellectually dishonest.

              Let us return to the issue at hand, which, by now, is well-plowed ground.

  6. GeorgeHuff 2 years ago2 years ago

    In the sidebar, Maya Robles-Wong doesn't wish to learn about teaching, but wants to pour her energy into educational reform. Maya, please seek another field, in which you can give energy without knowledge, and will not harm others. "After graduation, she said she probably won’t pursue a teaching credential but does want to contribute to the development of young children, perhaps as an administrator of an after-school program, or eventually a policy maker “so that … Read More

    In the sidebar, Maya Robles-Wong doesn’t wish to learn about teaching, but wants to pour her energy into educational reform.

    Maya, please seek another field, in which you can give energy without knowledge, and will not harm others.

    “After graduation, she said she probably won’t pursue a teaching credential but does want to contribute to the development of young children, perhaps as an administrator of an after-school program, or eventually a policy maker “so that I can pour my energy into education reform.”

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      George, why are you attacking this young woman who's interested in education? - apparently only because she doesn't want to pursue a teaching credential? There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in education without being a school teacher. It isn't for everyone and it is not a prerequisite to involvement in education. If that were true we might as well dispense with the LCAP because the vast majority of parents and other community … Read More

      George, why are you attacking this young woman who’s interested in education? – apparently only because she doesn’t want to pursue a teaching credential? There are plenty of opportunities to be involved in education without being a school teacher. It isn’t for everyone and it is not a prerequisite to involvement in education. If that were true we might as well dispense with the LCAP because the vast majority of parents and other community members are not K-12 teachers.

      • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

        Enough about contrived plaintants. Caroline, if you claim none of your children ever had a bad teacher, a grossly ineffective teacher, you're a liar and I'm telling you so. I'll bet you six two and even you couldn't pass a lie detector test that your children or you never had one. They exist. My children have had them several times. The auto-pilot knee jerk defenders of all teachers lie or … Read More

        Enough about contrived plaintants. Caroline, if you claim none of your children ever had a bad teacher, a grossly ineffective teacher, you’re a liar and I’m telling you so. I’ll bet you six two and even you couldn’t pass a lie detector test that your children or you never had one. They exist. My children have had them several times.

        The auto-pilot knee jerk defenders of all teachers lie or stay quiet a lot. I had one teacher at Presidio who was terrible and arbitrary and walked out of a meeting, didn’t make scheduled calls, and gave a kid who was a genius and worked hard a B for mumbling. A French teacher who I spoke with in French and could not speak well at all, a teacher who was there 50 days of 180 and was seen in cafes on days she called in “sick” and actually was eventually fired.

        No one is saying all or most teachers are bad, but you don’t have to contrive plaintifs. That’s ridiculous and proves you will just nitpick and look for random minor errors to justify a grave injustice towards millions of children in this nation. Focus on the bigger picture Caroline. If it is possible to fire bad teachers, all teachers will worry what parents, kids and their bosses think of them, will think twice before calling in sick will fear maybe an investigator taking a picture of them relaxing on a day the called in “sick” and go to work and prevent the children wasting a day with a sub who doesn’t know them and is not in tune with the learning. Maybe they’ll do school loop even if they don’t want to. And the ones who don’t will be replaced by others willing to work harder. It will change the whole profession. Forget about trivialities. If we make it possible for them to be fired quality will improve. Bad teachers exist in the thousands. They’re not the Lochness Monster. Your energy is in the wrong place here. Your passion is to find a loophole to maintain a terrible status quo and hurt children rather than help improve education and class mobility for millions of children. If teachers have to work harder, so be it. Kids are more important than teachers who have the Summer off not having to worry about pleasing a potentially angry boss like the other 99% of us.

        • Floyd Thursby 1941 2 years ago2 years ago

          What bothers me most is Caroline's heart is in entirely the wrong place. Ditto for Gary. They keep harping on the fact that a billionaire made a big donation to a noble cause. OK, so let's imagine that he didn't, what do we have? The status quo in which the legislature and governor are so bought and paid for by the hugely rich teacher's unions that they don't even comment on … Read More

          What bothers me most is Caroline’s heart is in entirely the wrong place. Ditto for Gary. They keep harping on the fact that a billionaire made a big donation to a noble cause. OK, so let’s imagine that he didn’t, what do we have? The status quo in which the legislature and governor are so bought and paid for by the hugely rich teacher’s unions that they don’t even comment on the case, oppose a law to fire sex offender/abusive teachers, and won’t let any bill about seniority and tenure reform be discussed or get out of committee. You both know without a big player, the union would use money and power to intimidate anyone addressing this issue. If you could require every parent to donate $100 a school year for an organization which would analyze what’s good for students and donate it to said causes, it might be even, but parents have to be asked one by one and every teacher is required to pay dues, even if they disagree. You only criticize the billionaire as a means of defending the status quo. I wish children had a higher spot in your hearts. Your nitpicking shows they are really a very low concern for you. Don is making great points and you are ignoring them. Caroline, you’ve admitted before that some teachers call in sick when they aren’t, but you don’t ever advocate doing something about it. You have a way of generally just seeing the posts in response to you and ignoring 90% of it and looking for a minor flaw, instead of taking in the whole point and addressing it. Children deserve more of your passion. Your passion only goes to teachers. It’s frustrating because you create a nightmare scenario where we can only have virtually no teachers fired ever even awful ones who call in sick when healthy or are grossly ineffective, or a scenario where teachers are randomly fired en masse for beliefs or arbitrary reasons.

          Caroine, can you imagine something in the middle? Can you imagine a system where teachers are forced to only call in when sick and fired when ineffective, yet are not fired randomly and unfairly in huge numbers? Why is it black and white? What would you propose as a fair compromise, or do you view the 2000-2014 super duper due process in which under 100 teachers were fired in a decade as the only acceptable system, and anyone who ever opposes this extreme an evil billionaire with a secret sinister agenda?

  7. Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

    “And he [Welch] is going to other states to discuss lawsuits and legislative reforms of tenure and other labor laws.”

    Ah. The anti-labor, anti-public employee, anti-public services, anti-public schools,anti-union, cat begins to emerge from the ideological bag.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      That's a stretch to say the cat is out of the ideological bag. Are you implying that Welch was hiding his views before the decision? What then was the court case all about? And why wouldn't he take his message on the road? Is there a problem with such expression? It isn't as if the NEA and AFT didn't stick their national noses into California's affairs. What's good for the goose is good for … Read More

      That’s a stretch to say the cat is out of the ideological bag. Are you implying that Welch was hiding his views before the decision? What then was the court case all about? And why wouldn’t he take his message on the road? Is there a problem with such expression? It isn’t as if the NEA and AFT didn’t stick their national noses into California’s affairs. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Last I hear we still have free speech and a semblance of rule of law in this country even if some want to do away with the legislative process in DC. Maybe Welch won’t targeted by the IRS because the Obama administration is on his side of the issue.

      I mean, it isn’t as if you don’t have your ideology, Gary.

      • CarolineSF 2 years ago2 years ago

        There are some issues with the Vergara case, covered here (yes, EdSource gets full credit), that call into question its sincerity -- that make it appear that there's a greater agenda behind it. One is the fact that a number of the named plaintiffs, including the Vergara sisters, attend schools where teachers do not have tenure. I don't even get how the case could proceed, given that. Another is the fact that some teachers specifically … Read More

        There are some issues with the Vergara case, covered here (yes, EdSource gets full credit), that call into question its sincerity — that make it appear that there’s a greater agenda behind it.

        One is the fact that a number of the named plaintiffs, including the Vergara sisters, attend schools where teachers do not have tenure. I don’t even get how the case could proceed, given that.

        Another is the fact that some teachers specifically named as ineffective have strong track records demonstrating their success.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          I don't see what the problem is, Caroline. Those girls went to a traditional public middle school before they went to a charter. They testified about their experiences with certain teachers there at Maclay MS in Pacoima. It makes sense for them to have gone on to high school at a charter where it is easier to dismiss ineffective teachers since that is what the case is about from a constitutional perspective. … Read More

          I don’t see what the problem is, Caroline. Those girls went to a traditional public middle school before they went to a charter. They testified about their experiences with certain teachers there at Maclay MS in Pacoima. It makes sense for them to have gone on to high school at a charter where it is easier to dismiss ineffective teachers since that is what the case is about from a constitutional perspective. Clearly, the statutes in question make it more difficult to dismiss ineffective teachers at a TPS than a charter. I don’t see how they can be faulted for doing what makes perfect sense. This is really a lot of sour grapes.

          • CarolineSF 2 years ago2 years ago

            The billionaire putting together the production couldn’t find enough contrived plaintiffs who currently attend a school where teachers have tenure? Also, Don, what about the testimony attacking teachers by name as “ineffective” who have won awards and acclaim for their teaching skills.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            I agree with you about the teacher/award issue. Nevertheless, that detail doesn't diminish my belief that the statutes are problematic and even Randi Weingarten agrees if you watch her interview with Ray Soares in discussion with Deasy. How and why the plaintiffs were chosen I don't know and I expect the attorneys could have found more perfect candidates, perhaps. I didn't sit in the courtroom and hear the evidence, though I did watch several … Read More

            I agree with you about the teacher/award issue. Nevertheless, that detail doesn’t diminish my belief that the statutes are problematic and even Randi Weingarten agrees if you watch her interview with Ray Soares in discussion with Deasy. How and why the plaintiffs were chosen I don’t know and I expect the attorneys could have found more perfect candidates, perhaps. I didn’t sit in the courtroom and hear the evidence, though I did watch several hours of testimony on video. If you are ideologically against changing the job protections, you will look for any holes in the case. And actually, that is how it should be. But whether a couple of teachers were singled out as both good and bad (to be overly blunt) is not a game changer. Most of my children’s teacher have been good to excellent, but they don’t attend low-performing schools. A couple teachers were utterly derelict and it was extremely difficult to get them out of the school. In the end they teach at lower performing schools following the job prospects and protected by seniority. That’s unfortunately how the system works under current law.

            What I don’t like about this case is the polarization it is causing among players who need to be partners not adversaries. This is in large part the result of the failure of the legislature to take up this issue and thereby forcing a trial. If the laws allowed for reasonable due process dismissal we wouldn’t be here now. And the notion that it does at present is not borne out by facts. I could site the astronomically low numbers of teachers who have been let go but what I have seen with my own eyes carries more weight in forming my opinion.

            Teachers should look to their unions for better leadership. They have a lot to do with why we are here today. It would have been better for the union to support a initiative to amend current law then the prospect they are now facing if they lose the appeal. The laws were written entirely for the benefit of teachers, not kids unless you subscribe to the idea that what benefits all teachers benefits all students.

            What is missing in this whole issue is how to dismiss ineffective administrators. I believe you can’t solve the ineffective teacher issue without both. Just my layman’s 2 cents.

        • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

          Are you suggesting that a ruling ought to take into consideration the wealth of the plaintiffs' backers or are you just blowing smoke and trying to devalue the facts as right-wing propaganda promulgated by a greedy capitalist pig? Considering the widespread bipartisan support for Vergara, I doubt that this sort of feeble attempt to influence by a self-appointed member of the Committee for Public Safety is going to appeal to anyone except those hardened … Read More

          Are you suggesting that a ruling ought to take into consideration the wealth of the plaintiffs’ backers or are you just blowing smoke and trying to devalue the facts as right-wing propaganda promulgated by a greedy capitalist pig? Considering the widespread bipartisan support for Vergara, I doubt that this sort of feeble attempt to influence by a self-appointed member of the Committee for Public Safety is going to appeal to anyone except those hardened critics who would love to see beheadings in the streets.

        • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

          Good points, Caroline. In fact the "State Defendants' Post-trial Brief, prepared by Kamala Harris' office makes the following points: [These are quotes from the Court document.] " It is remarkable that after a month of testimony from 22 different witnesses, Plaintiffs have been unable to answer the most basic questions surrounding their theory that the Challenged Statutes cause the hiring and retention of "grossly ineffective" teachers in CA's public schools.. Who are the "grossly ineffective" teachers? How … Read More

          Good points, Caroline.

          In fact the “State Defendants’ Post-trial Brief, prepared by Kamala Harris’ office makes the following points:

          [These are quotes from the Court document.]

          ” It is remarkable that after a month of testimony from 22 different witnesses, Plaintiffs have been unable to answer the most basic questions surrounding their theory that the Challenged Statutes cause the hiring and retention of “grossly ineffective” teachers in CA’s public schools.. Who are the “grossly ineffective” teachers? How is the term defined? How many “grossly ineffective” are there? Where do they teach? Which students are being taught by them? How many such students are there? Plaintiffs have not answered any of these questions?”

          And.

          “Yet Plaintiffs ask this Court to strike down as unconstitutional five longstanding state statutes because these laws are purportedly causing an unknown number of unidentified students in an unknown number of unidentified school districts to be taught by an unknown number of unidentified “grossly ineffective” teachers.”

          And.

          “Not a single Plaintiff established that he or she was assigned to a “grossly ineffective” teacher because of the Challenged Statutes. Half of the Plaintiffs never testified, and four of the five who did testify accused former teachers of being ineffective who turned out to be highly effective–and sometimes award winning–teachers. Plaintiffs utterly failed to prove that they personally suffered harm because of these laws.”

          Due process rights, which is the accurate description for what are called “tenure” rights for teachers, were enshrined in the Bill of Rights because the founding fathers could look back into the not too distant time of their immediate past and learn from the circumstances around the Salem Witch Trials. At those trials “spectral evidence,” that is, evidence which could not be shown to or seen by judges, was used to condemn the accused. During the infamous time of US history called McCarthyism, during the “Red Scare II,” in the 1950s, Senator Joe McCarthy would wave a “list,” never seen or shown to others, which he claimed had the names of 50 or 100 or 120 alleged “Communists” who were working in the US government. Many people, teachers included, lost their jobs by being placed on “blacklists,” because of vague suspicions, aka, “spectral evidence,” about their loyalty. A popular play, The Crucible” was written using the Salem events as a metaphor for what was happening under McCarthyism.

          Someone once said, “history may not repeat itself, but it sure echoes.” It is hard not to read the words of Attorney General Harris about the Vergara case,”these laws are purportedly causing an unknown number of unidentified students in an unknown number of unidentified school districts to be taught by an unknown number of unidentified “grossly ineffective” teachers…” and not hear the echoes of Salem and McCarthyism, echoes of “spectral evidence” being used to persecute scapegoats.

          • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

            What a surprise to see the losing Attorney General blasting the judge and plaintiffs. What next, raising the specter of McCarthyism and the Salem witch trials? I suppose all the low performance at schools where its hard to keep a warm body in the classroom is only about poverty, nothing at all to do with teaching. In that case let the cafeteria staff work the classrooms. They want the plaintiff's to scientifically prove ineffective teachers … Read More

            What a surprise to see the losing Attorney General blasting the judge and plaintiffs. What next, raising the specter of McCarthyism and the Salem witch trials?

            I suppose all the low performance at schools where its hard to keep a warm body in the classroom is only about poverty, nothing at all to do with teaching. In that case let the cafeteria staff work the classrooms.

            They want the plaintiff’s to scientifically prove ineffective teachers are responsible for underperformance, but they’re against any efforts to scientifically quantify effectiveness. Nice catch 22. But plenty of reasonable people know a bad teacher when they see one like the ones who don’t bother to go to work. Fortunately, the majority of teachers are doing an exemplary job and really have no problem with professional standards and some measure of accountability done properly. Only the fringe is holding out against reasonable teacher evaluations. But its the fringe running the unions and dragging the profession down with them.

            Well… the ruling could get struck down in the end, but it’s an uphill battle for the appellants. Treu’s final ruling will address some of the cursory analysis in his preliminary ruling. And its up the appellants to prove his ruling incorrect. But since they claim it can not be proven correct, how can it be proven incorrect? And its incumbent upon the appellants to do so, otherwise the ruling stands and good luck get a strong statute after this sordid affair.

  8. Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

    Superb, informative, and balanced writing, information and analysis by John Fensterwald. Much appreciated.

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 2 years ago2 years ago

      Thanks, Andrew.

  9. navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

    Well, nobody needs to actually wait. From current ed code: "(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a school district may deviate from terminating a certificated employee in order of seniority for either of the following reasons: (1) The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the certificated employee … Read More

    Well, nobody needs to actually wait. From current ed code:

    (d) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), a school district may deviate
    from terminating a certificated employee in order of seniority for
    either of the following reasons:
    (1) The district demonstrates a specific need for personnel to
    teach a specific course or course of study, or to provide services
    authorized by a services credential with a specialization in either
    pupil personnel services or health for a school nurse, and that the
    certificated employee has special training and experience necessary
    to teach that course or course of study or to provide those services,
    which others with more seniority do not possess.
    (2) For purposes of maintaining or achieving compliance with
    constitutional requirements related to equal protection of the laws.

    Replies

    • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

      Navigio, (2) in the ED Code cited has previously been interpreted in too narrow a fashion to serve as a solution. SFUSD tried to "skip" less senior teachers working at SIG schools. An administrative law judge, Melissa Crowell, reversed the action here and in Sac City because the district did not convince her that the issues at the schools in question warranted overriding seniority protections. Obviously that happened before the Vergara ruling changed … Read More

      Navigio, (2) in the ED Code cited has previously been interpreted in too narrow a fashion to serve as a solution. SFUSD tried to “skip” less senior teachers working at SIG schools. An administrative law judge, Melissa Crowell, reversed the action here and in Sac City because the district did not convince her that the issues at the schools in question warranted overriding seniority protections. Obviously that happened before the Vergara ruling changed the standards for meeting constitutionality. Perhaps that decision’s effect was one among several causes for poor performance at several SFUSD SIG schools, notwithstanding the windfall investments in them. Ironically, the progressive and staunchly pro-union administration and BOE only took issue with the union when their prize initiative was jeopardized. If equally low-performing students at other schools were negatively impacted by layoff well…that would be just too damn bad.

      Regarding the appeal and the substantial evidence standard, which off hand seems the most likely route for the appellants, the appellate court say thus:

      ” The appellate court just decides whether a reasonable fact-finder could have come to the same conclusion based on the facts in the record. If there is a conflict in the evidence and a reasonable fact-finder could have resolved the conflict either way, the appellate court will not overturn the trial court’s decision.”

      That is a tough sell for the appellants. In the meantime, Treu is likely to provide a very carefully worded but expanded final ruling.

      Navigio, what about the adversaries coming together as professionals with the interests of both teachers and students in mind in order to paradigmatize a new system in the mold of several NE states?

Template last modified: