Final Arguments Heard In California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit

The Los Angeles Times (3/28, Blume) reports that both sides made final arguments Thursday in “a groundbreaking, two-month trial challenging teacher job protections in California,” with both sides claiming to be representing the best interests of students. Noting that the lawsuit “seeks to overturn a set of laws that affect how teachers are fired, laid off and granted tenure,” the Times reports that the plaintiffs allege that those laws “hinder the removal of ineffective teachers,” resulting in “a workforce with thousands of ‘grossly ineffective’ teachers.” The plaintiffs argue that this impacts low-income and minority students disproportionately and violates the state constitution. Attorneys for the state’s teachers unions “countered that it is not the laws but poor management that is to blame for districts’ failing to root out incompetent instructors.”

        Bloomberg News (3/27) reports that in his final statement, plaintiffs’ attorney Ted Boutrous Jr. said that the laws “impair students for life and should be thrown out,” noting that the plaintiffs allege that “the statutes give job security to inept teachers and violate children’s right to a basic education, especially in poor and minority schools.” Southern California Public Radio (3/27, Guzman-Lopez) also covers this story online.