A Santa Clarita Valley superintendent praised a “historic” decision in the Vergara v. California trial regarding teacher tenure, which struck down portions of the state’s Education Code deemed unconstitutional.
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The plaintiffs proved three main points, according to a news release about the Los Angeles Superior Court decision from Students Matter, a national nonprofit focused on educational issues.
“Permanent employment is granted in far too little time, resulting in grossly ineffective teachers attaining lifetime job protections; the dismissal statutes are far too costly and time consuming, forcing districts to remain stuck with grossly ineffective teachers; and the quality-blind layoffs resulting from the ‘Last-in, First-out’ statute force districts to fire top teachers and retain ineffective ones, according to a statement,” according to their statement.
The lawsuit was filed in March 2012 with eight plaintiffs whose legal fight was funded by David Welch, a wealthy pioneer in the field of optical engineering.
Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger called the decision a “gamechanger,” adding he expected the decision would survive and inevitable appeal.
“When this comes to pass, the real burden will be on principals because we will be given something we’ve always said we wanted – the ability to make personnel decisions on merit, ability, and impact on student achievement, “Winger said, in a statement. “The will and skill to make these decisions will be placed squarely on administrators’ shoulders instead being based on years of service or some other criteria in law. It’s a real game-changer.”
He added that the decision wouldn’t have an immediate effect, but it could have a lasting impact.
Here’s a link to the decision posted by Students Matter.
“The process for dismissing a single ineffective teacher involves a borderline infinite number of steps, requires years of documentation, costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and still, rarely ever works,” according to the Students Matter website. “Out of 275,000 teachers statewide, 2.2 teachers are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance per year on average, which amounts to 0.0008 percent.
Reacting to the decision, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said, “This is a truly historic day for our education system. Today’s decision is a call to action to begin implementing, without delay, the solutions that help address the problems highlighted by the Vergara trial.”
The decision was handed down by Judge Rolf Treu, the same judge assigned to the Santa Clarita Community College District’s lawsuit over the allegation of a California Voting Rights Act violation.
That case is expected to be settled today.
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Source: Santa Clarita News