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Old Jun 10, 2014, 06:36 PM   #1
jkcerda
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California Court Rules Against Generous Teacher Tenure

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The case, Vergara v. California, was filed in 2012 by nine public school students, who argued that three aspects of the state’s labor laws on teachers were unconstitutional. First, the state’s rule on tenure required the state to either grant or deny permanent employment to new teachers after only 18 months of experience. L.A. Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy was one of many who testified that the mandated timeframe was insufficient to evaluate the quality of new teacher hires.

Second, the lawsuit targeted the state’s rules on firing teachers, which made it nearly impossible to fire a teacher for bad performance once they had been given tenure. Out of 300,000 teachers in California, less than 100 have been removed from classrooms in the past decade, and firing a teacher can take years and cost millions of dollars.

Third, the lawsuit attacked the state’s seniority protections, which stated that any layoffs undertaken by the state’s schools must follow the “Last In, First Out” (LIFO) rule that eliminates teachers not based on need or ability but simply based on how long they had worked.

The combined effect of all these laws, the plaintiffs argued, was to fill California’s schools with thousands of incompetent teachers who were impossible to remove. These teachers were disproportionately assigned to low-income schools with high minority populations, thereby creating an unequal educational reality. This, they argued, violated the equal protection clause in the California constitution.

Judge Treu agreed, ruling that the state’s protections for incompetent teachers were excessive “uber due process” and that its LIFO rule amounted to an assertion that “the state has a compelling interest in the de facto separation of students from competent teachers, and a like interest in the de facto retention of incompetent ones.”
“The logic of this position is unfathomable and therefore constitutionally unsupportable,” Treu wrote in his opinion. Treu also observed that the state’s policies had created a “Dance of the Lemons,” a phenomenon in which grossly incompetent teachers who cannot be fired are simply transferred repeatedly from school to school to mitigate outrage. This phenomenon primarily affected poorer students, Treu wrote.




Read more at TLR: California Court Rules Against Generous Teacher Tenure | The Libertarian Republic http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/ca...#ixzz34HKRCbFn

its about time, hope this really helps the students as intended.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 06:46 PM   #2
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Bravo! Tenure after 18 months? ****ing crazy. Millions to fire a teacher? ****ing crazy. Now let's go after all the money not spent on students or teachers.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 06:52 PM   #3
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A sane ruling by the court.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 07:12 PM   #4
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Bravo! Tenure after 18 months? ****ing crazy. Millions to fire a teacher? ****ing crazy. Now let's go after all the money not spent on students or teachers.
At the university level it's typically 7 years in a tenure track position. It does however make sense to give some consideration to seniority. If they are out of a job well into their teaching career, it is less likely that they could become reestablished. It just shouldn't be the only factor. I would also say that we should look at some of the habits of the most successful teachers. There are probably many borderline teachers who would like to improve.

Anyway I don't think such a short time to tenured status even helps the teachers. If they are that terrible, it's better for them to leave the profession while they're still young rather than middle-aged.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 07:23 PM   #5
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I might be considered a bleeding-heart liberal by some on this forum, but I think this is a fine ruling. Tenure is kind of a crappy thing, especially after 18 months. Maybe 15 years or something.

I still side-eye "million of dollars" to fire one teacher.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 07:31 PM   #6
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I might be considered a bleeding-heart liberal by some on this forum, but I think this is a fine ruling. Tenure is kind of a crappy thing, especially after 18 months. Maybe 15 years or something.

I still side-eye "million of dollars" to fire one teacher.
Watch the documentary Waiting for Superman about the public education system in the US. Some aspects of the teacher's union are just insane. I don't know about the cost of firing a teacher, but it's so difficult in some parts of the country that they put the teacher in an empty room for 8hrs a day and pay them to do nothing because that's more cost effective than firing them.

I'm a very strong supporter of organized labor, but I disagree with union efforts that make it impossible, or nearly impossible, to fire people. That does way more harm than good.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 07:45 PM   #7
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I'm a very strong supporter of organized labor, but I disagree with union efforts that make it impossible, or nearly impossible, to fire people. That does way more harm than good.
I'm in two separate unions, thus obviously a supporter, yet don't support those types of actions. The purpose of a union should not be to make it impossible to fire someone, or make it so someone gets paid for years while doing nothing. They also shouldn't support obviously sub-standard workers.
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Old Jun 10, 2014, 09:43 PM   #8
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I firmly believe that the general downgrading of teaching as a profession is what has led to this kind of union behavior. The demonization of public ed by he far and not so far right is a major contributing factor. Also, quality education in the USA is dependent on the wealth and social status of the parents.nits no longer about merit, if indeed it ever was.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 02:11 AM   #9
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I firmly believe that the general downgrading of teaching as a profession is what has led to this kind of union behavior. The demonization of public ed by he far and not so far right is a major contributing factor. Also, quality education in the USA is dependent on the wealth and social status of the parents.nits no longer about merit, if indeed it ever was.
Good points. Among many others, it seems like a "I'm going to kick you in the face, and you should respect me for it" type of position.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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Good points. Among many others, it seems like a "I'm going to kick you in the face, and you should respect me for it" type of position.
Plus with the new of UNC Professor Wins Lawsuit against School over Denial of Promotion maybe the face of education can finally live unto the creed of freedom of speech.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 02:52 PM   #11
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I'm familiar with the term, but read about Academic Tenure and I have no problem with it as long as it's not used as a shield to protect bad educators.

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Under the tenure systems adopted as internal policy by many universities and colleges in the United States and Canada, some faculty positions are with tenure and some are not. The tenured positions are considered senior positions and have job titles such as Professor and Associate Professor. Promotion to these senior positions is made dependent on a variety of factors, including : demonstrating a strong record of published research, ability to attract grant funding, academic visibility, teaching and administrative service, with emphasis across different institutions. Typical systems (such as the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure)[1] allow only a limited period to establish such a record, by limiting the number of years that any employee can hold a junior title such as Assistant Professor, compelling the institution to promote an individual or end their employment. An institution may also offer other academic positions that are not time-limited, with titles such as Lecturer, Adjunct Professor, or Research Professor, but these positions do not carry the possibility of tenure and are said to not be "tenure track."
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
Watch the documentary Waiting for Superman about the public education system in the US. Some aspects of the teacher's union are just insane. I don't know about the cost of firing a teacher, but it's so difficult in some parts of the country that they put the teacher in an empty room for 8hrs a day and pay them to do nothing because that's more cost effective than firing them.

I'm a very strong supporter of organized labor, but I disagree with union efforts that make it impossible, or nearly impossible, to fire people. That does way more harm than good.
The reason the unions make it nearly impossible to fire teachers is because they need them "active" so they can continue to pay their union dues. Don't forget, the union is designed to benefit the teachers and itself, NOT the students.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:16 PM   #13
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The reason the unions make it nearly impossible to fire teachers is because they need them "active" so they can continue to pay their union dues. Don't forget, the union is designed to benefit the teachers and itself, NOT the students.
I disagree with your characterization. You have any evidence or just how you feel?
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:27 PM   #14
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I disagree with your characterization. You have any evidence or just how you feel?
It's my conclusion based on what I've learned about how teachers unions operate. But don't believe me. Here's Bob Chanin, former general counsel to the NEA, in his own words, and in a rare moment of truth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baM8N24K8kE
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 03:42 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by tgara View Post
It's my conclusion based on what I've learned about how teachers unions operate. But don't believe me. Here's Bob Chanin, former general counsel to the NEA, in his own words, and in a rare moment of truth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baM8N24K8kE
Did you really understand this guys message? Unions exist to look out for their members best interests. No argument, but that is not their only focus, things like standards, training, and workplace safety. He does not mention keeping teachers active so they can pay dues. This is how a prejudiced view might regard it. Unions are made of people good and bad, just like businesses. I can guarantee that keeping the stream of union dues flowing was not a priority in my union, especially when it came to a member not doing their job. "We must keep the dues flowing" does not make much sense because if a union member stops working, another must take their place, ie pay dues.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 04:55 PM   #16
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The reason the unions make it nearly impossible to fire teachers is because they need them "active" so they can continue to pay their union dues. Don't forget, the union is designed to benefit the teachers and itself, NOT the students.
That's nearly as gross a representation of unions as saying "everyone in the financial industry exists solely to manipulate numbers in order to pad the profits of their companies and move money from average people to shareholders". And, of course, Googling "corporate executive fraud" has plenty of results...maybe I can judge all executives by that.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 07:45 PM   #17
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That's nearly as gross a representation of unions as saying "everyone in the financial industry exists solely to manipulate numbers in order to pad the profits of their companies and move money from average people to shareholders". And, of course, Googling "corporate executive fraud" has plenty of results...maybe I can judge all executives by that.
Ridiculous post. Nice try, though. I had a good chuckle.

I'm a patient guy so I'll spell it out for you. Each teacher pays union dues. The more teachers they have, the more dues the union gets. Having more teachers getting paid means more dues to the union. Therefore, union wants as many teachers as possible getting paid. Thats why they fight so hard to keep teachers on the payrolls. It's all about the money as Chanin admits. He was the union's top lawyer, he should know.
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Last edited by dejo; Jun 24, 2014 at 01:40 PM. Reason: insults.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 07:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by LethalWolfe View Post
Watch the documentary Waiting for Superman about the public education system in the US. Some aspects of the teacher's union are just insane. I don't know about the cost of firing a teacher, but it's so difficult in some parts of the country that they put the teacher in an empty room for 8hrs a day and pay them to do nothing because that's more cost effective than firing them.

I'm a very strong supporter of organized labor, but I disagree with union efforts that make it impossible, or nearly impossible, to fire people. That does way more harm than good.

Thats because no one knows the definition if a bad teacher. A lot of schools the parents don't care how their kids do
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 09:07 PM   #19
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Ridiculous post. Nice try, though. I had a good chuckle.

I'm a patient guy so I'll spell it out for you. Each teacher pays union dues. The more teachers they have, the more dues the union gets. Having more teachers getting paid means more dues to the union. Therefore, union wants as many teachers as possible getting paid. Thats why they fight so hard to keep teachers on the payrolls. It's all about the money as Chanin admits. He was the union's top lawyer, he should know.
If Chanin is the guy in the video you linked, this was not his argument....
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Last edited by dejo; Jun 24, 2014 at 01:40 PM. Reason: quoted post edited.
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Old Jun 11, 2014, 09:41 PM   #20
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Ridiculous post. Nice try, though. I had a good chuckle.

I'm a patient guy so I'll spell it out for you. Each teacher pays union dues. The more teachers they have, the more dues the union gets. Having more teachers getting paid means more dues to the union. Therefore, union wants as many teachers as possible getting paid. Thats why they fight so hard to keep teachers on the payrolls. It's all about the money as Chanin admits. He was the union's top lawyer, he should know.
My post was meant to be ridiculous. Did that not come through? WOW.

I know how unions are paid. I'm in two of them. In no meeting I have ever been a part of, or any mailing I have ever received, have they said that we need to keep people in so that we can make more money. In fact, we get regular mailings about people who haven't performed and how they need to get better or face expulsion.

Maybe the teacher union is different for some reason, but I doubt they go as far as you say.
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Last edited by dejo; Jun 24, 2014 at 01:41 PM. Reason: quoted post / response edited.
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Old Jun 14, 2014, 04:51 PM   #21
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its about time, hope this really helps the students as intended.
I do have reservations about the "unconstitutional" part. The Constitution enumerates rights, but, doesn't really say how they are balanced one versus the other. The right to private property, the establishment of taxes, and equal protection, are all in conflict with each other to some extent.

For example, this case was basically set within a given large district. But, the "solution" might be, to some people, to split the district into a bunch of small districts. Then, you end up with a different kind of discrimination.

Or, does "equal protection" span across districts? Then, you can't have a bunch of small districts where some are rich and some are poor. Does that mean that all public education can be funded at the state level only? How does that work when some areas have very low population densities, and, low cost of living, while others are dense and urban and expensive?

It just isn't as simple as it apparently seemed to the judge, based on what I read.

That said, a number of teachers are welcoming this as a way to get rid of incompetent teachers. I have reservations. See below.

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I know how unions are paid. I'm in two of them. In no meeting I have ever been a part of, or any mailing I have ever received, have they said that we need to keep people in so that we can make more money. In fact, we get regular mailings about people who haven't performed and how they need to get better or face expulsion.
I have heard some teachers are happy about this ruling. Certainly, "tenure", as a concept at the university level, that is supposed to protect academic freedom and freedom of speech of professors, is completely misapplied to elementary school teachers, who are not really supposed to be in the business of stirring up controversy anyway.

But, my concern about the ruling is that it will become yet another way to discriminate against older, experienced professionals, in this case teachers. "Tenure", as it relates to academic freedom, is a bad fit for elementary/middle schools, but, it offers protection against age discrimination in the teaching profession. If it disappears, expect to see a lot of unemployed teachers age 50-65 who will not be offered jobs regardless of how well qualified they are.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 05:40 AM   #22
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Tenure should be abolished from any educational institution below the university level.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 06:34 AM   #23
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It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I doubt it will increase the quality of education in California unless the state starts investing in the system in accordance with its wealth.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 10:57 AM   #24
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It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I doubt it will increase the quality of education in California unless the state starts investing in the system in accordance with its wealth.
It is actually quite clear where this is headed. With no age discrimination protection, teaching will return to what it was in my grandparents era, where there were very few professional schoolteachers. There will be young, inexperienced, sometimes enthusiastic teachers who will cycle through the system on their way to a real (paying) job. And poor, high-crime districts will have even more trouble hiring teachers than they do now.

Because no one in her right mind will expect teaching to be a "career".

The Libertarians will get what they think they wanted-- the destruction of the public school system.
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Old Jun 16, 2014, 12:24 PM   #25
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It is actually quite clear where this is headed. With no age discrimination protection, teaching will return to what it was in my grandparents era, where there were very few professional schoolteachers. There will be young, inexperienced, sometimes enthusiastic teachers who will cycle through the system on their way to a real (paying) job. And poor, high-crime districts will have even more trouble hiring teachers than they do now.

Because no one in her right mind will expect teaching to be a "career".

The Libertarians will get what they think they wanted-- the destruction of the public school system.
What is your solution to the problem? I get why what you laid out above is bad, but the alternative (districts being forced to carry loads of dead weight because of tenure requirements) isn't much better.

I would think killing tenure as we know it and working to make public school teachers earn six figure salaries would solve all of the problems. The competition for those jobs would be fierce and the cream would rise to the top. Then, say after 15 years in or so, a newer model of tenure could come into play to keep districts from trying to run out the older teachers in favor of a newer, cheaper option.
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