Teachers Unions

California Teachers Unions Fight for Their Special Privileges Against Students' Right to a Good Education

The students' side files their appeals brief in the historical Vergara case overturning teacher firing practices that harm kids.

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A little over a year ago, a group of nine California students with the help of the activist group Students Matter won an amazing victory in California Superior Court in the case of Vergara v. California.

As I reported at the time:

Judge Rolf M. Treu reasoned that the challenged teacher rules—regarding permanent employment status, dismissal procedures, and a "last in first out" rule for layoffs—do indeed damage California children's constitutional right (on the state level) to an education. He wrote that the challenged statutes "cause the potential and/or unreasonable exposure of grossly ineffective teachers to all California students" and "to minority and/or low income students in particular, in violation of the equal protection clause of the California constitution."

"Evidence has been elicited in this trial," the Judge writes, "of the specific effect of grossly ineffective teachers on students. The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience." He was convinced by expert testimony that bad teachers can cause over a million in lifetime earning losses for students, and cost them 9 months of learning per year compared to students with even average teachers. He estimate 2,750 to 8,250 inferior teachers active in California now.

"Plaintiffs have proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that that Challenged Statutes impose a real and appreciable impact on students' fundamental right to equality of education and that they impose a disproportionate burden on poor and minority students."

Naturally, the losers appealed, and Judge Treu stayed actual enforcement of his ruling pending appeal. Today, the Students Matter side filed their brief in the appeal process in the Court of Appeal for California, 2nd appellate district.

Excerpts and summations of the brief's arguments, explaining powerfully how and why the original decision was correct:

the Superior Court explained exactly how the Challenged Statutes cause school districts to be stuck with grossly ineffective teachers. Based on "extensive" and "compelling" evidence presented during a two month trial…the court found that:

• The Permanent Employment Statute forces school districts to make tenure decisions after teachers have been on the job for only 16 months—far too little time to be able to predict with accuracy whether a teacher will be effective at teaching students. As a result, districts grant permanent status year after year to some grossly ineffective teachers— teachers who would be screened out if districts had more time to make considered decisions.

• Once those grossly ineffective teachers obtain tenure, a series of three Dismissal Statutes makes it virtually impossible for districts to remove them from the classroom. Remarkably, in the entire state of California, only 2.2 teachers are dismissed on average, each year, for unsatisfactory performance —only 0.0008% of the nearly 300,000 teachers statewide…..School districts must spend years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, in order to have any chance of dismissing a single grossly ineffective teacher—and even then, their efforts are likely to fail. As a result, district administrators are left with no choice but to shake their heads, hold their noses, and assign these teachers to classrooms full of unlucky students every year.

• Then, when economic downturns or declining enrollment force school districts to conduct layoffs, administrators are still prevented from removing these grossly ineffective teachers—forced instead by the Last-In First-Out ("LIFO") Statute to fire some of their best, most beloved, most effective teachers, based almost exclusively on those teachers' lack of seniority. It is not uncommon for a teacher to be named "teacher of the year" and laid off the same year…Even worse, the Challenged Statutes result in a well-known phenomenon called the "Dance of the Lemons," causing disproportionate harm to poor and minority students throughout California. ….As a result, AfricanAmerican and Latino students in Los Angeles are 43 and 68 percent more likely, respectively, to be taught by grossly ineffective teachers than white students.

The brief goes on to address and debunk the state's main appeal arguments, which roughly speaking include that the court should just let the state legislature have its way on matters of teacher hiring and discipline; that the plaintiffs are merely making arguments about preference when it come to running the school system that don't rise to the level of violating students' right to equal protection under the California constitution; and that, well, if administrators were smarter and more efficient they could run their schools in a manner that doesn't mess up their students' lives without overthrowing the teacher protections at issue. None of those arguments, this brief does a good job showing, seem very convincing, and they certainly weren't to Judge Treu.

In a press conference call this morning announcing the brief, lawyers on the Students Matter side say they still need to wait for the teachers side to file its response brief and then await an actual court date. Once the hearings are over, though, a decision must come within 90 days, but that could still be a very long time away–more's the pity for California public school students.

But the lawyers say they are very confident they will win. Laywer Theodore Boutrous said that in California appeals courts, the court is supposed to defer to the specific factual findings of the original court, which were overwhelmingly on the side of the conclusion that the teacher protections harm students. Boutrous also poked fun at their teachers union opponents for having the nerve to call the Students Matter side "well funded" in this fight. As I wrote in my first report on the Vergara case in February 2014:

while teachers unions have complained about the suit being funded by a politically interested millionaire, the CTA is the biggest, richest political force in the state, spending in the '00s more than $211 million on political giving and lobbying—nearly twice the amount of the nearest competitor in political influence, the Service Employees International Union.

A great Reason TV feature from January on the original court victory, which gives the human face of children harmed by California's teacher-proection-above-all system, a system hopefully tottering and ready to fall after this appeals process plays itself out:

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  1. Well, I figure that the fight against judicial activism has been lost, so all that’s left is to make sure judges are activists on behalf of the right causes.

    And this is certainly a worthy cause.

    So, go ahead and legislate from the bench, the voters can always remove the judges. They’re *state* judges, after all.

    I mean, it’s not as if unelected judges are going around engaging in activism without accountability to the voters. That would be crazy.

    1. Judicial activism? You mean like the judicial branch telling the legislature that their law is unconstitutional? As in separation of powers and checks and balances?

      1. I really don’t have enough rabbit hutches to accommodate the needs of F D’A and Tonio.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecWhXP2jM28

  2. What I didn’t hear was that the plaintiff’s dog was killed during a swat raid on her parents home. These western time zone mammals never cease to dissapoint.

  3. Wtf. Education should be subjected to individuals in the market like everything else.

    If someone purchases a refrigerator, and it performs poorly, and the company’s customer service sucks, they most likely will never purchase a product from that company again, and instead reward the company that produces the best frigerator for the best price.

    Someone through hard work is finally able to afford the double door pull out bottom fancy refrigerator for their family. So, should the person next to them be able to rob money from them so that person can get the same refrigerator and not something that is less money, but still is well rates and does a good job? Hell no, and I doubt anyone would like that done to them when they are in best buy or something.

    Mothereffer, you better give me that credit card so I can purchase this Samsung double door for my apartment. I am not settling for this whirlpool single door.

    1. OK, but which scenario is better:

      “You can’t afford good schools for your kids, especially after we slap education taxes on you, so you’ll have to use these bad schools we build with these taxes – you’re welcome!”

      OR

      “Well, since we’ve already taken your tax money to provide schools for your kids, I suppose we may as well make the schools suck a little less, even if that means weeding out unqualified teachers.”

      1. But even if they weed out the unqualified teachers, the public schools will still suck because the purpose of public schools is not to educate or provide benefit to the child– that’s just the PR slogan to the parents– the actual purpose is to instill conformity and deference to authority.

        1. BuSab’s read her Dewey, I see.

        2. “[…]the actual purpose is to instill conformity and deference to authority.[…]”

          Beyond that, they are union hiring halls for any and all contributors to politicos’ war chests.

      2. Neither. Taxation is theft. Socialism isn’t magically efficient once applied to schooling. There is so much waste going toward the public school system, imagine what it would look like if all schooling were subjected to the choices of individuals in the market, and also competition.

        So many more options would be offered. Such as online schooling, satellite classes for a highly rated teacher or course, and so on.

        When a school doesn’t deliver, it fails, and its assets are liquidated. It doesn’t continue on being funded. The legacy costs disappear. Whereas a public school robs money no matter how horrible it performs, and robs even more of it to try and make the school better. The public schools are shielded from market consequences, as something Like that system couldn’t survive in the market, so that system can never economize, and can’t be efficient.

  4. I wish the plaintiff’s luck on this. I do love the fact that their argument rests on the fact that the California constitution guarantees the students a quality education.

    What’s better than seeing government-worshippers hoisted by their own petards?

  5. So, mandatory education, administered through multiple levels of government, was, and is, a jobs scheme, and not actually about educating people?!?

    Next, you’ll be describing water as…what, “wet”?

    1. Your mother always required such certainty.

      1. Your mother left you to fend for yourself just days after you hatched.

        1. Are you kidding? His mother left him immediately after she laid the egg. As you can see he was lucky, and the sand stayed warm enough.

      2. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.

        1. Hamster of Doom is lizard’s mother?!?

          1. So who smells of elderberries? Maybe I don’t want to know…

            1. I thought it was well known that Warty uses elderberry-scented Axe spray.

              1. That is called “gin”.

                He is a sloppy drunk.

      3. I bet, even now, when you see a miss lizard sunning on a rock somewhere that you still get the taste of egg yolk on your forked tongue.

  6. So poor children with bad teachers who became teachers and now have their jobs threatened get fucked twice? When will the terror end?!

    1. The terror will end when my union rep tells you it can end. Or, more accurately, when my union rep is told it will end by a more connected and influential member.

  7. Some of the schools I attended were in California (San Francisco, Stockton) and I didn’t run into any good teachers. I was just happy to have a couple that weren’t actively harmful i.e. teachers who got upset and petulant at me reading novels through their class rather than staring at them with glassy eyes. Seriously, I had one “science” teacher that warned us to let microwaved foods rest a while to let the radiation dissipate before we ate the food.

    1. Your testimony makes my heart cry, man for real. I experience the fucking exact opposite in the 80’s and early 90s.

      BuSab Ag is obviously a brilliant and lovely human and I wish I would have been connected with you in my old haunts tho they likely would have alarmed you the characters abounding were literally inescapable for a lifetime. No movie can capture my upbringing as a white geek wearing a strange sweater with fucking hand-rolled tapered pants on cheap 80’s black converse high tops purchased by poor parents from a salvation army store in 1987.

    2. I had one “science” teacher that warned us to let microwaved foods rest a while to let the radiation dissipate before we ate the food.

      Shit, I thought my 11th grade physics teacher was an idiot just because he couldn’t add vectors.

      -jcr

  8. children are teachers…
    adults are the antithesis of the fists made of iron purchased by that dude who runs the mma shop training cops and people who earn their lives smashing heads on the conqueror curb… I’m actually cool wid the mma dudes… cops? not so much

    children are teachers…
    I respect my offspring more than most progenitors… they need guide, sure… they fail everday, sure, but mature society in its forms of education and governance and military streams doesn’t?

    children are teachers… and as a dad who traverses. sure. fuck that… its my own picnic but I learn from my children… kids look into us and know maturity way fucking better than the fuck shits claiming to be mature…

    please stop claiming that your children need to be obedient to authority that is mentally bereft of any fucking level of great cognizance… many teachers seek to educate and many fall short because they have not learned to appreciate the geniuses in the seats.

    1. Children are learning machines. They become fluent in a foreign language without knowing anything about reading or writing merely by observation and imitation. It takes a special kind of monster to make a child hate learning. Public schools are stuffed to the gills with these monsters.

      1. Children are learning machines.

        That’s why I oppose education, not just public schools.

        1. When I first started homeschooling, I tried a curriculum, but the kids didn’t like it (really it was a replication of public school at home) and seemed like a horrendous waste of everyone’s time. Then I just let them study whatever they wanted and that worked brilliantly. In a short period of time, I was merely a textbook acquisition service. The kids would give me lists of subject matters to acquire books on (sometimes ISBN’s and exact titles) and I would purchase them. We also spent a lot of time out and about at local businesses so the kids could talk to professionals in various fields ( for example my youngest was very interested in weaving and the second son wanted to see a complete car engine rebuild). The internet came along and it got even easier as things could be googled and you-tube has a video for nearly any subject you could think of. I believe the technical term for I ended up doing is un-schooling.

          1. Oh and for the doubters who think that couldn’t possibly work, oldest boy just graduated with a BSin EE and Physics going to work for a company that will pay for his MS , oldest daughter is a chef, youngest son is working full-time but hasn’t decided on which trade school he wants (toss up between electrician or mechanic), youngest daughter halfway through a full ride scholarship for pre-med.

  9. kids are the future and this is why the society fighting for morality and social justice plans to engineer them under our noses.

    kids should be free. They get the fucking dumbass old shits around them. I did when I was young. I also noticed the long lost bright and strange lights in the teacher or administrator that was different- hands off this man and woman was. gently guiding in spite of this young man’s many breakings of rulings.

    all my demanding schools made of brick have all been dashed into the ground and the teachers and admins dispersed… this is the coming future of the new young.

    but what remains is the rivulets of demonstrations whacking hammers on a young man or woman’s brain stem.

    memories you can draw from the bricks bounced into the landfill. bricks and tiles and majestic railings touched by decades upon decades of students with gleaming eyes on a future that ends in the same pasture we all fall into…

    1. what the FUCK is this guru meditation swag?

  10. I demand that this site with its stables of brilliant fucks draw my fucking shit out, man. I don’t give a single FUCK if any reason commenter (which I love with a million loves) gets on my ass about this shit. FUCK YOU, whores…..

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  11. I demand that this site with its stables of brilliant fucks draw my fucking shit out, man. I don’t give a single FUCK if any reason commenter (which I love with a million loves) gets on my ass about this shit. FUCK YOU, whores…..

    reason has weak weeks… man. and my brain is like a limp dick on the weeks fucking bitch… but I am not fucking ready to FUCKING go to sleep on my silk sheets next to my little blonde with a fucking hot asshole and that little vagina with the pink castle right underneath and if you rode a teensy tiny atv from her clit up to her bellybutton you’d be whackin that clit chum between your fucking coke balls and before you fucking smashass GTA livin ass your fucking cum would be splashed all over the fucking dashboard you dicksucking gentleman.

  12. I demand that this site with its stables of brilliant fucks draw my fucking shit out, man. I don’t give a single FUCK if any reason commenter (which I love with a million loves) gets on my ass about this shit. FUCK YOU, whores…..

    reason has weak weeks… man. and my brain is like a limp dick on the weeks fucking bitch… but I am not fucking ready to FUCKING go to sleep on my silk sheets next to my little blonde with a fucking hot asshole and that little vagina with the pink castle right underneath and if you rode a teensy tiny atv from her clit up to her bellybutton you’d be whackin that clit chum between your fucking coke balls and before you fucking smashass GTA livin ass your fucking cum would be splashed all over the fucking dashboard you dicksucking gentleman.

  13. I demand that this site with its stables of brilliant fucks draw my fucking shit out, man. I don’t give a single FUCK if any reason commenter (which I love with a million loves) gets on my ass about this shit. FUCK YOU, whores…..

    reason has weak weeks… man. and my brain is like a limp dick on the weeks fucking bitch… but I am not fucking ready to FUCKING go to sleep on my silk sheets next to my little blonde with a fucking hot asshole and that little vagina with the pink castle right underneath and if you rode a teensy tiny atv from her clit up to her bellybutton you’d be whackin that clit chum between your fucking coke balls and before you fucking smashass GTA livin ass your fucking cum would be splashed all over the fucking dashboard you dicksucking gentleman.

  14. I demand that this site with its stables of brilliant fucks draw my fucking shit out, man. I don’t give a single FUCK if any reason commenter (which I love with a million loves) gets on my ass about this shit. FUCK YOU, whores…..

    reason has weak weeks… man. and my brain is like a limp dick on the weeks fucking bitch… but I am not fucking ready to FUCKING go to sleep on my silk sheets next to my little blonde with a fucking hot asshole and that little vagina with the pink castle right underneath and if you rode a teensy tiny atv from her clit up to her bellybutton you’d be whackin that clit chum between your fucking coke balls and before you fucking smashass GTA livin ass your fucking cum would be splashed all over the fucking dashboard you dicksucking gentleman.

  15. I demand that this site with its stables of brilliant fucks draw my fucking shit out, man. I don’t give a single FUCK if any reason commenter (which I love with a million loves) gets on my ass about this shit. FUCK YOU, whores…..

    reason has weak weeks… man. and my brain is like a limp dick on the weeks fucking bitch… but I am not fucking ready to FUCKING go to sleep on my silk sheets next to my little blonde with a fucking hot asshole and that little vagina with the pink castle right underneath and if you rode a teensy tiny atv from her clit up to her bellybutton you’d be whackin that clit chum between your fucking coke balls and before you fucking smashass GTA livin ass your fucking cum would be splashed all over the fucking dashboard you dicksucking gentleman.

  16. jesus FUCKING christ… I had no intention of fucking with the web Reason lords with more than a singular fucking bullshit mouth puke. U nystcular on lac sre onu bo waz wong schlack a jaket sreams on slivs wans broos win voo vagini cock cum assbutt fcuk tongi

    1. Well christ almighty now we know who’s taking up all the commenting bandwidth.

      1. Hasn’t been much doubt for a while…

  17. California Teachers Unions Fight to Keep Shaking You Down While Holding Your Child’s Future Hostage.

    Once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane.

    1. Unions were cool once but they are now the mental retardation of the collective worker… how can we as super rich dudes and dudettes exploit modern american workers?

      Never ever recognize the fact that many of our fucking dumbass members are FAT LAZY ASS FUCKS who should probably be homeless or entered into a jobs prog because they are so FUCKING moronically stupid.

  18. well that strange fingerbra boogied tits on wooma wooma wama zama linkaswinki twinkie that super old fucking dude in a closet locked by his mom always ate until he died under the stairs? yea, I knew this dude cuz I painted her porch and his eyes glistened behind hinges in her roach infested house but I was 14 and I kinda knew about the old lady and her abuse of dying vets but when you are young and chasing pussy and pizza ethics are no issue…

  19. ‘[…]while teachers unions have complained about the suit being funded by a politically interested millionaire, the CTA is the biggest, richest political force in the state, spending in the ’00s more than $211 million on political giving and lobbying?nearly twice the amount of the nearest competitor in political influence, the Service Employees International Union.[…]”

    Can the teachers unions explain why CA taxpayer money is used to defend the union members who should by any measure be fired?

    1. I recall the voice of a local powerful union member who stated “we are about jobs- not performance”

      Union standards are to fight the tidal wave of performance.

      I don’t give a FUCK about gaining points or goddamn FUCKING earning strange numbers

      if you can teach- you don’t fucking need a union. the union needs you
      if you can perform in a Husky oil refinery- you dont FUCKING need a union- the union needs you
      if you are pushing dials in a Lima, ohio refinery- you dont FUCKING need a union- the union needs you…

      Unions have not learned to move past the flower hat turned back on lazy super bright guys., man.

      if you get priviledged to grasp this swang window into Union life please be prepared to understand
      machismo and the little flowered cap turned certain ways… at least in the upper part of Ohio and into Lima….

      Union macho is actually macho, man… prob never discovered before and this post will end it but union macho is badass and intelligent and typically an office or truck plastered with blondes with pussy lips spread with the reddest fingernail polish ever known and all that trippy shit

      Unions have a place- but they don’t understand how to kick out killers or lax fucks…

      may unions get better in mod Murica.

      1. Question:
        Were you responsible for the explosion at the Husky refinery?

  20. I think we know who Postrel is talking about…

    1. Ginny was pissing and moaning long before AC got here.

  21. Piece of shit miraculously transformed into a sentient humanoid, Vandana Shiva, now claims that GMO crops cause autism. Even the New Yorker

    1. Even the New Yorker opines “Christ, what an asshole!”

      1. The New York never crossed a drainage pole on the heroic Mulatto bridge with their bare FUCKING feet, right? yea- thought so.

        1. Stupid or evil?

          Yes. Though one wonders, since she has figured out a way to enrich herself with no real effort, how stupid could she actually be?

      2. I’m surprised she wasn’t aboard that train from the very beginning. It’s just the sort of unverifiable assertion of tenuous correlation bollocks she’s been riding to riches and ignominy since day one.

      3. It remains a measure of their allegiance that they write:
        …”Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva”…
        She may be an “environmentalist” by some silly definition, but that is totally aside from the clear fact that she’s a luddite and a liar.

        1. AAAAAAAAAAARGH!

          ” She promotes, as most knowledgeable farmers do, more diversity in crops, greater care for the soil, and more support for people who work the land every day. Shiva has particular contempt for farmers who plant monocultures?vast fields of a single crop. “They are ruining the planet,” she told me. “They are destroying this beautiful world.”

          Yeah, feeding people is “…destroying this beautiful world.”

  22. Has anyone here ever heard of One America News? Somehow, it’s on my TV now, and YEEESH.

    1. Uh, I think you can change channels, no?
      I’ve been getting American Action News emails; heavily right wing, some amusing stuff. Who knows how they collected my addy.

      1. This channel is… breathtakingly stupid I wish I didn’t know about it.

  23. a single bottle of little devils makes me cry for the guts of the future man.
    in these white splices and yearnings for ipward and upjazz and so can you
    stop bro and let go off everything….

    grab my letters with your heart and co.n.n.e.c.t.

    o
    .
    hilllllll

    .in the mindsss
    of
    .
    the foressstttttttttttt……………….drop off

    …………i will catch ya

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    when all this poetry is washing all over me like i
    want to fuck all the letters. I want to FUCK a b c d e and a f g h is
    and man do you all hear this shit i am massaged by poets on notes and

  25. As a result, AfricanAmerican and Latino students in Los Angeles are 43 and 68 percent more likely, respectively, to be taught by grossly ineffective teachers than white students.

    Thank god there’s a racial angle to this problem so now it’s OK to pay attention to it.

    1. ig ,u ;;lobr d,dsdjr ;pdyp pm d,sdjpi.r smf

      1. Yeah, right?

        1. He was saying that he wishes that he were on a slip and slide somewhere in Brooklyn.

          1. I’m in Brooklyn and sadly we don’t have room for that.

            1. You didn’t see the picture I posted earlier? Hang on, let me grab it.

              1. Brooklyn beach.

                This is what one of my buddies from college does in his free time.

                1. Your buddy needs to get out more.

            2. Using a slip and slide on concrete is a special form of advanced survival training/pain endurance regimen.

  26. my fingers wish to travel into deep voodoo this place on this place, man
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  31. It seems that everyone has been sold the idea that teaching is a HARD problem. It isn’t. Like any endeavor it can be difficult at times but in general kids learn.

    For quite a few years I taught/trained 30 up to 70 year olds in an industry that needed to adopt technology ASAP. They would castigate me, walk out, complain to my bosses, talk on their phones, etc.

    Yeah kids have different issues but I challenge any school teacher to try it. Oh, poor you, you have to have a lesson plan for the year. Try a new one covering an hour to all day for each new group. Oh, my teaching skills/success can’t be measured. Try almost losing your job multiple times because some curmudgeon complained- then had one of their underlings complain on popular blogs naming me specifically. Oh, you have to do some new learning yourself every few years? Try being required to be an expert on constantly changing and brand new technologies- non-stop research and education. Often, gasp, after hours.

    Wargle bargle… rant over.

    I’m sorry very tired of these teachers bemoaning their comfortable jobs and awesome benefits.

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