By Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond
As students started a new school year this fall, far too many were greeted by substitute teachers and others who were unprepared for their jobs, as teacher shortages continue to hinder the ability of districts to find fully prepared teachers to fill all of their classrooms.
This year, more than 100,000 classrooms in the U.S. are being staffed by instructors who are uncertified for their assignments and lack the content background and training to teach their classes. These classrooms are disproportionately in schools serving mostly students from low-income families and students of color. In some key subjects, like math, science, and special education, districts of every type and in nearly every state have been hit.
Source: What Can We Do About Teacher Turnover? | Edutopia
In a victory for teacher unions, a divided California Supreme Court decided Monday to let the state’s teacher tenure law stand.
The high court decided 4-3 not to review a lower court ruling that upheld tenure and other job protections for teachers. That ruling came in a lawsuit by a group of students who claimed that incompetent teachers were almost impossible to fire because of tenure laws and that schools in poor neighborhoods were dumping grounds for bad teachers.
The case was closely watched around the country and highlighted tensions between teacher unions, school leaders, lawmakers and well-funded education reform groups over whether policies like tenure and firing teachers with the least seniority keep ineffective instructors in the classroom.
Source: California court decision keeps teacher tenure protections – The Reporter
By John Fensterwald
Assembly Republicans announced bills Wednesday that would change state laws that establish teacher tenure and a layoff system based on seniority – two employment protections for teachers that a California Superior Court judge threw out in his sweeping Vergara v. the State of California ruling last year.
The legislation was among a suite of bills that the 28-member Republican caucus announced. Included is a bill to strengthen the law on teacher evaluations, which hasn’t been changed in four decades, and one to eliminate a cap on school district budget reserves that has angered school education groups. Another bill requires school districts to provide more details on spending in their annual budget accountability plans, the Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs) that the State Board of Education requires. Civil rights groups also have called for more budget transparency.
via Republicans’ bills would change teacher tenure, layoff laws | EdSource#.VPnsAmctHGg#.VPnsAmctHGg.
By Stephen Sawchuk
California’s laws governing teacher tenure and dismissal unfairly saddle disadvantaged and minority students with weak teachers, infringing on those students’ right under the state constitution to an equitable education, a state superior court judge ruled June 10.
The tentative ruling in the high-profile case strikes down the laws in question. It will be finalized within 30 days, and spells what appears to be a complete victory for the plaintiffs, nine California students and their families.
The landmark decision in Vergara v. California says the state’s constitutional guarantee includes having equal access to quality teaching—a step beyond the right to sufficient instructional time and money that rulings in previous equity suits have established.
via Teacher Protections Violate Student Rights, Calif. Judge Finds – Education Week.