Weekend Reading: Vergara Decision

All the fireworks earlier this summer about California’s Vergara lawsuit about granting of tenure, teacher dismissal, and last in/first out layoff policies in California were based on a cursory preliminary ruling. The final decision was released yesterday – you can read it here (pdf). And you should. It’s an important case and the gap between the issues in the case, the analysis about them, what it means and doesn’t mean, and the claims being made about the case is enormous.

7 Replies to “Weekend Reading: Vergara Decision”

  1. Judge Treu will go down in history as the modern day Judge Henry Billings Brown, or if he is lucky, the 21st Century Judge Ito.

    The Vergara plaintiffs never demonstrated any of the teachers in question were “found to be incompetent.” As has been reported in many outlets, the students offered anecdotal evidence, but no one offered any prima facie evidence these teachers were bad. In fact…

    The “teacher of the year” who Campbell Brown complains lost her job due to seniority is the same teacher the Vergara plaintiffs alleged was incompetent!
    • The plaintiffs couldn’t demonstrate teacher incompetence.

    The lawsuit claimed that three teachers were incompetent. I researched them and found that one of them, Christine McLaughlin, was actually named Pasadena’s 2013 teacher of the year. The others have not only received no other complaints, but have been lauded for their dedication to the students. The students claimed McLaughlin didn’t assign them any homework or classwork. McLaughlin brought in the assignments given to class. The plaintiffs (funded by the group “Students Matter”) offered no counterattack to that evidence.

    • The plaintiffs contradicted themselves regarding teacher incompetence.

    When confronted with the evidence that so-called incompetent teacher McLaughlin was named the best teacher, Students Matter claimed she had received four LIFO (Last In First Out) layoff notices over the past seven years and used that as evidence … that she was a good teacher yet got layoff notices. Wait, wasn’t this the person they named in the lawsuit as a bad teacher? Of course, she wasn’t laid off, but you can’t have it both ways.

  2. You misrepresent the case. The children’s case did not require them to demonstrate that any particular teacher was competent or incompetent. This should be clear from even the most cursory reading of the complaint and the decision. Don’t mistake the sideshow for the main event.

  3. Interesting Art.
    The complaint is that the kids received a poor education due to poor teachers, yet they can’t document it.

    Well, I think I’ll move to California and sue for being beaten by police.
    I want you on the jury.
    I will then be on the gravy train for life.

    I think North Korea and Iran still have these show trials.
    Great company.

  4. “The complaint is that the kids received a poor education due to poor teachers, yet they can’t document it.”

    Friend, that is not the complaint. Note Andy’s head note about the gap between what the case is about and what people are saying the case is about.

  5. Art:
    from the Judge’s final ruling:

    Plaintiffs claim that the Challenged Statues result in grossly ineffective teachers obtaining and retaining permanent employment…
    and then
    This court finds that Plaintiffs have met their burden of proof on all issues peresented.

    They did not.
    The judge is making this up.
    Judge Treu, the modern day Judge Henry Billings Brown.

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