Editorial Boards Weigh in on Vergara Appeal
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Editorial Boards: Flawed Ruling in Vergara Appeal, Time for Legislative Action
Following a flawed ruling by the California Court of Appeal in Vergara v. California last week, newspaper editorial boards across California and the nation are weighing in. The editorials criticized the Court’s decision for ignoring the harmful impact that the challenged laws have on California public school students and called upon the California Legislature to take meaningful action to fix the state’s broken teacher employment statutes.
Los Angeles Times: New Vergara ruling makes it clear it’s Legislature’s job to fix laws protecting bad teachers
In a piece published just hours after the Court’s ruling against California students, the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board repeated their criticism of the laws challenged by the suit, saying they “go too far” and cause students to “lose learning time and, perhaps worse, their interest in school under the weakest and least motivated instructors.”
“The laws should be changed,” continued the Editorial Board. They reiterated their support for legislation introduced by Assemblymember Susan Bonilla to update the challenged statutes, calling it “a reasonable legislative fix to the laws in question that would still protect teachers from capricious and vindictive firings.” CONTINUE READING.
San Francisco Chronicle: Teachers keep tenure protections that help them, not students
“It’s a big win for teachers unions and their worship of the sanctity of seniority, but a setback for the rest of the schoolhouse world: parents, taxpayers and — most of all — students who live in the most challenged districts,” said the San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board on Saturday.
Like the Times, the Chronicle’s editors argued that the flawed ruling “puts the onus on the state Legislature to overhaul the balky rules that are basically in the hands of union leaders…” They urged California voters to “watch to see which candidates are willing to speak plainly about tenure and seniority when the topic of public education floats up” and criticized Sacramento leaders who have been “unwilling to confront” what the editors called “a dogmatic system that leaves districts unable to match teachers with the skills and will to take on the most challenging schools,” disproportionately affecting African American and Latino students. CONTINUE READING.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Vergara ruling preserves flawed school status quo
The Editorial Board of San Diego’s largest paper concluded that the Court’s ruling, while problematic, makes it increasingly hard to argue with the concept that “it is Gov. Jerry Brown’s and the Legislature’s job to determine whether providing teachers with extreme job protections is a ‘good idea.’”
Calling on legislative leaders in Sacramento to take cues from another progressive state, Massachusetts — which took legislative action to increase accountability and modernize teacher employment rules two decades ago — the Editorial Board invoked the words of U.S. Education Secretary John King: “We need to move away from political debates and focus on the only thing that really counts: whether we are getting results for kids.”
“In the Golden State, that’s not how things work,” they concluded. “It’s far past time that changed.” CONTINUE READING.
Sacramento Bee: Voters should tie support for income tax hike to school reforms
“Good schools and fair pay for teachers are crucial to California’s future — and we love teachers and support them,” wrote the Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board. “But a too-mighty CTA isn’t necessarily great for California or its kids.” In exchange for the public’s support of a tax increase extension, the Editorial Board urges California voters to “speak up to prevent kids’ needs from being overshadowed by teachers” and demand commonsense, meaningful change to the state’s broken teacher employment laws.
The paper’s editors characterized the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Vergara v. California as “hardly an endorsement of the status quo” and argued that rank-and-file teachers’ support for change — demonstrated by a 2014 Teach Plus poll that showed widespread opposition to the current employment statutes among California teachers — should serve as “a clear signal for lawmakers to address teacher tenure.” CONTINUE READING.
Orange County Register: Pro-teacher rules prevail over schoolkids
“California children in low-performing schools will continue to suffer as a result of an appellate court decision,” wrote the Register’s editors in reaction to the Court of Appeal’s ruling.
The Editorial Board went on to quote former State Senator Gloria Romero, who argued that her former colleagues in Sacramento should act now, “without turning a blind eye to the injustices revealed in the testimony” of students in the Vergara trial. The Court of Appeal’s finger-pointing at school administrators instead of state legislators “does nothing to close the achievement gap for poor and minority children, nor fix the problem,” continued Romero.
Hopefully, the Editorial Board concluded, the case ultimately will be resolved in favor of children. CONTINUE READING.
New York Daily News: A rigged class system: A California court overrules a vitally important ruling for equal educational opportunity
The Editorial Board of the New York Daily News, which previously supported the trial court’s landmark ruling in favor of students, had harsh words for the Court of Appeal’s flawed reversal. “The plaintiffs in Vergara v. California must be vindicated, and the statutes in question must be struck down,” they wrote.
The Daily News’ editors continued, outlining the overwhelming and shocking evidence presented at trial — evidence, they argue, that “shot an arrow into the heart of the old myth that teachers and schools are powerless to reverse the effects of poverty.”
They concluded by calling the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn Judge Treu’s historic ruling against the harmful statutes “an outrageous affront to the right of students, especially the low-income students for whom public schools are supposed to be an escape hatch from poverty.” CONTINUE READING.