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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: teacher tenure

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June 11, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Will California ruling on teacher seniority have an impact here?

Attorney Glenn Rothner speaks during a press conference after an L.A. County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that key job protections for California teachers violate the state's constitution. Photo by Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times.

Attorney Glenn Rothner speaks during a press conference after an L.A. County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that key job protections for California teachers violate the state’s constitution. Photo by Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times.

Some in this state have been closely watching the landmark California case in which a judge ruled on Tuesday in favor of nine students who challenged state laws governing the hiring and firing of California’s teachers.

The Los Angeles Superior Court judge struck down a number of those laws, agreeing they violated the students’ constitution rights because they helped incompetent teachers keep their jobs.

The group that helped bring the case to court, Students Matter, was quoted in The New York Times on Tuesday saying it is open to funding similar lawsuits.

At least one group says there may be interest here.

“People who are concerned about educational inequity in this state want to examine all the options around how we address inequity,” said Dave Powell, executive director of the Washington chapter of Stand for Children, an advocacy group.

“The court system is one viable way to do that. The California case puts momentum behind that idea.”

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Center for Education Data & Research, Dan Goldhaber, Dave Powell

June 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Poll: Do you support teacher-tenure laws?

A Los Angeles judge has struck down California’s tenure laws for K-12 teachers, saying such protections are disadvantageous to minority and low-income students.

From the Associated Press:

In a landmark decision that could influence the gathering debate over tenure across the country, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu cited the historic case of Brown v. Board of Education in ruling that students have a fundamental right to equal education.

Siding with the nine students who brought the lawsuit, he ruled that California laws on the hiring and firing of teachers have resulted in “a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms.”

He agreed, too, that a disproportionate share of these teachers are in schools that have mostly minority and low-income students.

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Comments | More in Poll, Your voices | Topics: teacher tenure