California Teacher Protection Lawsuit Takes Shape

Stephen Sawchuk writes at the Education Week (1/29) “TeacherBeat” blog that as opening arguments in a California lawsuit “that seeks to overturn major elements of teachers’ seniority and tenure protections” begin this week, the form of the sides’ arguments “gradually began to emerge.” He writes that the plaintiffs argue that the teacher protection laws “put poor and minority children at a higher risk of receiving subpar instruction than their peers,” but defense attorneys representing the state “argued that the laws do not force districts to assign poor teachers to at-risk students; instead, they actually serve to keep the best teachers in the profession.”

        Plaintiffs’ Attorney: Laws Protect Incompetent Teachers. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (1/29, Subscription Publication), attorney Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. writes about the lawsuit, noting that he is one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the case. He argues that the teacher protection laws in question harm students by making it exceedingly difficult to fire poorly performing teachers. He argues that this violates students’ rights to an adequate education.