The state's two largest teachers unions joined the case as defendants through a Motion to Intervene, granted by the Los Angeles Superior Court on May 2, 2013.
Giving Weight to Evaluation
"Last week, the Hechinger Report and the Center for Investigative Journalism published an article highlighting the urgency of Students Matterâ€™s efforts to strike down Californiaâ€™s teacher retention and dismissal statutes that interfere with childrenâ€™s right to a quality education. "
According to a survey from the Public Policy Institute of California, 82% of respondents are concerned that schools in lower-income areas have a shortage of good teachers compared to schools in wealthier areas.
The California Supreme Court has long recognized that equal opportunity to access quality education is a fundamental right guaranteed by the California Constitution.
While having a truly high-quality education depends on many components, research shows that effective teachers are the single most important in-school factor to ensuring a studentâ€™s academic success.
Yet, current laws force administrators to ignore teacher quality in all personnel decisions. Quality-blind laws force administrators to knowingly place grossly ineffective teachers in front of students every year, and push effective teachers out of California’s classrooms, causing devastating long-term harm to the children arbitrarily assigned to the classrooms of teachers who persistently under-perform.
Although the majority of teachers provide their students with a quality education, the presence of even a small number of grossly ineffective teachers has a devastating long-term impact on students. For minority and low-income students, the problem compounds. Instead of helping to raise the achievement levels and lifetime opportunities of minority and low-income children, current policies exacerbate existing inequalities by restricting access to quality teachers from those students who need quality teachers the most.
In a system that prioritizes the interests of adults, the violation of our childrenâ€™s fundamental rights demands a legal challenge.