Monday, April 18, 2016

I Guess I Did See This One Coming

About two years ago, I noted that the Los Angeles Superior Court judge in the Vergara v. California case had overreached when he declared that tenure and other job protections for teachers in primary and secondary public schools are unconstitutional. The plaintiffs' logic was that since poor and minority students were more likely to be saddled with ineffective teachers protected by these provisions, there must be a violation of their civil rights. I predicted that this ruling would be overturned on appeal, and last week, that's just what happened.

Echoing the theme of my earlier post, the Appeals Court ruled:

The court’s job is merely to determine whether the statutes are constitutional, not if they are ‘a good idea,’ ... The evidence did not show that the challenged statutes inevitably cause this impact.

Education is like many public policy issues today -- we spend too much, get too little, and either don't yet know how to improve on those outcomes or don't have the leadership skills to implement what we do know.

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