When I decided to join Students Matter, the group that spearheaded a lawsuit that invalidated California’s teacher tenure, dismissal and “last in, first out” layoff laws, I expected negative reactions from fellow progressives.
Sure enough, the day of the announcement, lots of incredulous and even hostile e-mails appeared in my inbox, accusing me of betraying the Democratic Party, our allies in organized labor and even my own K-12 public school teachers.
These negative reactions are rooted in a misunderstanding of what is at stake as lawsuits similar to Vergara v. California spread to the other states with similar laws.
My support for curtailing teacher tenure and last-in, first-out layoff rules when they put the needs of adults before children is not a departure from my progressive roots. Rather, it is a natural and common-sense outgrowth.