US teacher tenure ruled unconstitutional

The Washington Post reports:

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that tenure, seniority and other job protections for have created unequal conditions in public schools and deprive poor children of the best teachers.

We don’t have formal tenure here, but it is near impossible here to sack a teacher purely because they are ineffective at teaching.

In a 16-page ruling, in the case of Vergara v. California, Treu struck down three state laws as unconstitutional. The laws grant tenure to teachers after two years, require layoffs by seniority, and call for a complex and lengthy process before a teacher can be fired.

David F. Welch, founder of an optical telecommunications manufacturing firm, charged that job protections allow the state’s worst educators to continue teaching and that those ineffective teachers are concentrated in high-poverty, minority schools, amounting to a civil rights violation.

And the court agreed.

The ruling was a setback for the labor unions, which represent about 400,000 educators in California and whose core mission is to protect teachers’ jobs.

Which is fine, so long as you understand that is their core mission.

In states such as California, there are so many legal and procedural hurdles before a tenured teacher can be fired, they say, that it’s difficult to shed even the worst teachers.

Sounds familiar.

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