Campbell Brown on Her Fight To Get Lousy Teachers Fired

The former CNN journalist has a new career as an ed reformer.


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Oral arguments are scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Wright v. New York, a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court last July that seeks to overturn certain teacher tenure protections on the grounds that they deny public school students their constitutional right to an adequate education.

Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown, whose organization, the Partnership for Educational Justice, is providing support for the plaintiffs in the case, says that the lawsuit was inspired by the outcome of Vergara v. California. In that lawsuit, a superior court judge struck down five statutes that provide tenure protections to teachers in the Golden State. (The decision is under appeal.)

"Judge [Rolf Treu], in how he wrote his decision, was quite extraordinary," Brown told Reason magazine Managing Editor Katherine Mangu-Ward in an interview for Reason TV. "[He wrote] that the evidence presented of how these kids were being denied a quality education shocks the conscience," said Brown, "and it

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gave these parents…hope that a judge in New York might understand these arguments and find the same thing."

In her interview with Mangu-Ward, which took place at the National Summit on Educational Excellence in Wasington, D.C., Brown also discussed her decision to leave journalism for the "glamorous world" of ed reform, her response to critics who object to her tactic of turning to the courts to shape policy, and the personal attacks she's endured since entering a field in which ad hominem attacks are the norm.

"I don't particularly care because, you know, sticks and stones."

Shot by Todd Krainin and Joshua Swain. Produced and edited by Jim Epstein.

About 6 minutes.

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