Jesse Rothstein: California Ruling on Teacher Tenure Is Not Whole Picture – NYTimes

By Jesse Rothstein

BERKELEY, Calif. — IN his decision on Tuesday to strike down California’s teacher-tenure system, Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that laws protecting teachers from dismissal violated the state’s constitutional commitment to provide “a basically equal opportunity to achieve a quality education” and drew parallels with prior cases concerning school desegregation and funding levels.

But there is a difference between recognizing students’ rights to integrated, adequately funded schools and Judge Treu’s conclusion that teacher employment protections are unconstitutional.

The issue is balance. Few would suggest that too much integration or too much funding hurts disadvantaged students. By contrast, decisions about firing teachers are inherently about trade-offs: It is important to dismiss ineffective teachers, but also to attract and retain effective teachers.

Rima NYT Comment SmallI completely agree with almost everything here.

Blaming teachers removes the onus from management to do its job and does nothing to fix the problems inherent with California’s education system.

It is absolutely ridiculous that, for example, LAUSD’s superintendent and the unions didn’t find a way to immediately fire the teachers who were arrested for sexually assaulting students or engaging in sexual activities with them last year. That it took months for different resolutions in those cases and that those teachers were receiving pay while in jail is befuddling but still has nothing to do with tenure and the quality of education in California. If anything, it is further proof of rank incompetence in management – not at the classroom level.

To read the rest of my comment and this opinion piece, click here.

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