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

By 06/11/2014

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On Top of the News
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

Comment on this article
  • Forrest Hopping says:

    This is simply a right wing political maneuver. They have been trying to attack the union, the protection of teachers, so they can fire them at will and pay them less, take away their benefits and retirement. The idea is to privatize schools. Teachers have always been “fireable” You had to teach 2 years before you could get tenure. If an administrator doesn’t know after 2 years if a teacher is good or not, then the administrator should be fired, not the teacher. This is a disgusting attack on those who we should be honoring.

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