Trial Court Finds California's Teacher Tenure Rules Unconstitutional
A superior court judge ruled today that California’s teacher tenure statutes violate the state constitution. The judge held that “the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students” and thereby deprive these students of equal educational opportunity. Although the judge’s order (a “tentative decision”) is somewhat difficult to follow, the gist of the ruling is that California’s tenure statutes make it difficult to discharge ineffective teachers, and that ineffective teachers are disproportionately found in low-income and minority school districts. If the opinion survives appeal, this would obviously be a major development with serious implications for teachers and teachers’ unions. The judge’s order is here, and the NYT coverage is here. Stay tuned for the appeal.