Lindsay Sturman: How to Fix Teacher Laws? Ask Parents.

In an LA School Report op-ed this week, Los Angeles education leader Lindsay Sturman looks at the state’s harmful teacher employment laws challenged in the historic Vergara v. California case. In the piece, Sturman expresses her disappointment in the California Legislature’s inability to address the broken laws, citing the failure of Assemblymember Susan Bonilla’s AB 934, a bill originally crafted to address the statutes challenged by Vergara, but ultimately gutted under pressure from special interest groups and then rejected by the California Senate Education Committee.

Student plaintiffs and their parents after oral argument in Vergara v. California
Student plaintiffs and their parents after oral argument in Vergara v. California

 

Sturman also takes a look at the real harm caused by the laws raised inVergara, pointing to California’s stringent dismissal process, which can take a decade to carry out and cost districts $250,000. Policies like these, Sturman argues, keep weak teachers in our classrooms. She points out, “Both sides agree there are ineffective teachers in our public schools, and they are concentrated in low-income communities.”

Sturman concludes, “We need to give low-income communities an equal voice…We have to admit that the status quo is harming our most vulnerable students.”