Education

Teacher Tenure on Trial in NYC!

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Do parents and students at public schools have standing to sue over teacher tenure?

Staten Island Supreme Court Judge Philip Minardo has ruled that they "clearly have standing," meaning a potentially huge court case about how tenure affects education can move forward.

From the Daily News writeup of the case:

Two groups, The NYC Parents Union and the Partnership for Educational Justice, alleged that state laws governing teacher tenure and seniority protect ineffective teachers and deny children their right under the state constitution to be taught basic literacy, calculating and verbal skills.

They argued that

 three years is not long enough to determine if a teacher is effective enough to get tenure and that the systems for evaluating teacher performance are poor because in 2012, for example, only 1% of the teachers were branded as ineffective but only 31% of their students met minimal proficiency standards.

Last year, Staten Island Live reported, "The suit was spurred on by a recent anti-tenure ruling in California, where a Los Angeles judge denied California's tenure and seniority laws, stating that they were unjust to poor and minority students when it came to a sound basic education."

That case, Vergara v. California is the subject of the Reason TV video "How a 14-year old helped bring down teacher tenure in California." Take a look:

For more on the Vergara case, educational reform in both the Golden State and New York, and school choice, go here.

And read this 2006 Reason classic flow-chart by John Stossel and Terry Colon: "How to Fire an Incompetent Teacher."