Bloomberg News (6/16, Staiti) reports on comments by Education Secretary Arne Duncan regarding a California judge’s decision to end the state’s teacher tenure laws, calling it a “broken status quo” in need of reform. “The decision affirmed the fundamental duty to ensure that all students, regardless of zip code, family income or skin color, receive a quality education – starting with an effective teacher,” Duncan said in a statement. He added, “It took enormous courage for 10th-grader Beatriz Vergara and her eight co-plaintiffs to stand up and demand change to a broken status quo. It’ll take courage from all of us to come to consensus on new solutions.” According to Bloomberg, Duncan also said he advocates tenure after a “meaningful” span of time, and that performance should dictate layoffs rather than seniority.
Duncan Reflects On “Right Lessons” From California Teacher Tenure Ruling. The Washington Post (6/16, Strauss) reports in its “Answer Sheet” blog that Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Sunday issued a new statement “offering what he thinks are the ‘right lessons’” in the Vergara case, “in which a Los Angeles judge tossed out state statutes giving job protections to teachers.” Duncan put forth what he thinks are the “right lessons” from the case. In his statement on Sunday, Duncan “said that ‘tenure itself is not the issue here’ and that he ‘absolutely’ supports ‘job security for effective teachers,’ but he still praised the verdict as the right one in this case.” Duncan “said he hopes the verdict doesn’t lead to a long period in which the case is appealed by teachers unions (which will certainly happen) and for more such lawsuits to be filed in other states by those seeking to reduce union power (which will certainly happen).”