The American Federation of Teachers is fighting mad and has sworn to appeal a California judge’s decision gutting the state’s laws regarding teacher tenure and seniority protection.
Last week, in “Vergara v. California,” Judge Rolf Treu cited “Brown v. Board of Education” and other cases to rule that strict rules limiting how teachers are hired and fired disproportionately impact the state’s poor and minority students, thereby depriving the students of their right under state law to an equal education. (RELATED: California Court Rules Against Generous Teacher Tenure)
The ruling will affect The Golden State’s tenure policy, which requires that teachers obtain tenure just 18 months into their careers. It will also affect rules that make it virtually impossible to fire tenured California teachers who aren’t good at their jobs — particularly if they have seniority and have been bad for a long time.
“We want you to hear directly from us about how we’re fighting – in California and across the country – to support students, protect teachers and tackle the real issues facing public education,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers.
In a press release obtained by The Daily Caller, Weingarten details her union’s disappointment with the decision. It’s heavy on protecting teachers and light on supporting students.
She argues that “full and fair funding” would turn bad teachers into good teachers. She also argues that bad teachers in core academic classes would improve if kids spend more time away from them learning “music, art and physical education.”
Additionally, Weingarten blames everything but bad teachers for poor academic outcomes.
“Sadly, while the court used its bully pulpit to criticize teacher protections, there was no mention of funding inequities, school segregation, high poverty or any other out-of-school or in-school factors that have been proven to affect student achievement and our children,” she complains.
“This will not be the last word,” the labor leader swears, promising a hasty appeal.
“Stand with us in the fight to reclaim the promise of a high-quality public education for every child,” Weingarten urges. “Start by showing California teachers that we see and appreciate their dedication.”
California is home to its share of bad teachers.
In February, for example, angry parents in a suburb of Sacramento sued after a teacher allegedly dragged their seven-year-old daughter into a hallway and left her unattended. The girl went wandering around town all by herself, crossing an interstate overpass. (RELATED: Second Grader Roamed Streets For Hours After Teacher Locked Her Out Of Class)
Also in February, Southern California middle school science teacher Stacie Halas filed a second appeal to get her job back after she was fired for an appearance under the porn name “Tiffany Six” in explicit films including “Cheek Splitters 2.” (RELATED: Teacher Who Was Also A Porn Star Loses Appeal To Return To Classroom)
In November, former San Jose elementary school teacher Craig Chandler was sentenced to 75 years to life for blindfolding second- and third-grade girls and coercing them to perform oral sex on him. He had been placed on leave in accordance with district rules as he sat in jail without bail. (RELATED: San Jose Teacher Accused Of Vile Molestation Of Grade-School Girls)
And in December 2012, 41-year-old first-grade teacher John Raymond Kinloch was busted on charges including possession of child pornography and using a minor in an obscene manner. As his criminal trial meandered, the San Diego-area teacher was placed on unpaid leave, according to CVESD Reporter. (RELATED: First-Grade Teacher In San Diego Busted For Child Porn)