Behind the Headline: California Teacher Tenure and Seniority System is Struck Down



By 06/11/2014

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California Teacher Tenure and Seniority System is Struck Down
6/11/14 | Los Angeles Times

Behind the Headline
Script Doctors
Fall 2014 | Education Next

In California, a court struck down the state’s teacher tenure and seniority system. The court ruled that the laws governing teacher hiring and firing in the state were unconstitutional because they harmed low-income and minority students by allowing incompetent teachers to remain in their classrooms.

In an article for Education Next, professors Joshua Dunn and Martha Derthick wonder whether the courts were the right venue for this battle to take place, but note “because of California’s dysfunctional politics and the stranglehold unions have on the legislature, they might be the only available venue.”

Dunn and Derthick continue, “While we sympathize with Students Matter on policy grounds, should California’s courts accept the group’s legal rationale, which hinges on disparate-impact analysis, the floodgates could open for litigation calling for even greater judicial control over California’s schools.” They conclude, ” we hope that the legislature will be spurred to revise these laws and thereby void the need for a final and binding precedent by California’s supreme court that would induce more litigation.”

-Education Next




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