A State Appeals Court Missed the Point

Recall the California case, Vergara v California, in which nine students and the nonprofit advocacy group Students Matter, sued the State of California, arguing that the State’s tenure laws and its firing and layoff policies made it too hard to fire bad teachers, thereby denying students a decent education.  At trial, the students won, and the laws were struck as unconstitutional.  Naturally, teachers unions—California Teachers Association and California Federation of Teachers—anxious to protect its tenure perks, appealed.

Last Thursday, a State appellate court

said the plaintiffs had not successfully proven that some students were indeed getting an inferior education because of job protection provisions.

The appellate court wrote, with a straight face,

Although the statutes may lead to the hiring and retention of more ineffective teachers than a hypothetical alternative system would, the statutes do not address the assignment of teachers.  Instead, administrators—not the statutes—ultimately determine where teachers within a district are assigned to teach.

What the appellate court carefully ignored is that it doesn’t matter where bad teachers are assigned to teach.  The statutes in question require that they be assigned somewhere, to inflict their incompetence on unfortunate students somewhere.

That was the point of the suit: the statutes…lead to the hiring and retention of more ineffective teachers….

Score another victory of union prerogative over the welfare of our children.

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