Former President Marlene Canter, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education
“For many years now, research has shown that teachers are the most significant in-school factor impacting student achievement. This fact is one of the reasons I made teacher quality a top priority while serving as a member of the school board of the Los Angeles Unified School District. More than research, however, it has been my own firsthand experience that has guided me on the importance of teacher quality.
“Having started my career in the classroom, I know better than anyone that a teacher can make or break a student’s year and their subsequent future. And yet, we continue to debate whether teachers really make a difference. With the recent decision in Vergara v. California, however, the facts can no longer be denied. The court clearly and decisively affirmed that teachers do matter and that when we fail to place the best people in front of our students we are violating their constitutional right to access the education they deserve. With this in mind, it is time to once and for all leave this debate behind. All stakeholders must now move forward together to create a system that recognizes and values the work that teachers do, and most importantly one that puts students back where they belong—at the forefront of education.”