Torlakson says real problem is low teacher pay, not tenure

Torlakson says real problem is low teacher pay, not tenure

torlaksonThis was predictable: Friday’s announcement that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson wanted an appeal of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu’s ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they funnel the worst teachers to struggling schools with mostly minority students. (He got his way.)

But Torlakson’s specific reaction to the finalizing of the ruling was less predictable. Remember the context here: From President Barack Obama on down, many Democrats have said tenure laws are unfair to minorities and need to be changed. They may not call them unconstitutional and compare modern schools to those seen in segregated black America of the Jim Crow era. But they don’t like them.

Torlakson, however, didn’t even acknowledge this sentiment. Instead, he offered this comment:

“We do not fault doctors when emergency rooms are full. We do not criticize the firefighters whose supply of water runs dry. Yet while we crowd our classrooms and fail to properly equip them with adequate resources, those who filed and support this case shamelessly seek to blame teachers who step forward every day to make a difference for our children.”

So the real problem, you see, is that taxes are too low!

Teacher is most important classroom ‘resource’

There are two huge problems with this argument. The first is that the most important “resource,” so far as a student is concerned, is the teacher. And kids in minority schools are far more likely to have teachers who barely make the grade or who don’t even teach in the subject they were trained to teach. The second is that it’s pretty galling for a teachers union supporter to complain about adequate resources which the overwhelming majority of the operating budgets in most California school districts goes to compensation, primarily for teachers. In San Diego Unified, the state’s second largest school district, 92 percent of the operating budget goes to compensation.

brochure04_MyCTASo Torlakson’s reaction to the problems outlined during the Vergara trial amounts to saying the real problem is that teachers aren’t paid enough!

As for the CTA and the CFT, the real issue here isn’t about all the poor teachers that are foisted on the students who most need good teachers. Instead, it’s about a right wing plot to shut down discussion of topics important to well-meaning Californians:

A law firm representing the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers asserted that without tenure and other protections, teachers “may not teach topics such as Islam or global warming that might be considered controversial.”

Oh, my.

Establishment: Teachers matter, students don’t

I am skeptical the Vergara case will stand up on the appeal filed by the state. The bad laws Treu wants banned are effectively anti-minority, but not explicitly, and I think that point will rescue the CTA and CFT at some point.

Nevertheless, this has been a very worthy lawsuit. It underlines how horrible the California education status quo has become, and how relentlessly it sides with the needs of teachers over those of students.


Write a comment
  1. Queeg
    Queeg 30 August, 2014, 15:27

    …if you do little English, you spend a year in special 24 hour, seven days a week immersion.

    If your a discipline problem, you go to a full 48 hour weekend public service work group determined by the principal.

    Repeat offenders are removed from school for one year of public service work, six days a week, determined by a juvenile family court judge.

    You cannot drop out of school. You will join the military or do public service work until whatever it takes to wise you up!

    No drooping pants, provocative get ups , gothic make up, tattoos, no drugs…..all violations subject you to public service work groups.

    If you disagree…’re delusional-

    Reply this comment
  2. the truth
    the truth 30 August, 2014, 18:11

    What is your point, Captain Queeg? Thank-you.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, Editor
    Ted Steele, Editor 30 August, 2014, 19:09

    How can we screw these teachers even more>?

    We Republiibaggers want to know!

    Reply this comment
  4. bob
    bob 30 August, 2014, 19:25

    Pay’em more, more, more…nothing is too good for our government run youth interment camps…er…government run youth propaganda centers…er…public schools.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, Editor
      Ted Steele, Editor 31 August, 2014, 08:57


      your sarcastic post reveals some teabaggery.

      You honestly think public schools are internment camps?

      Your historically ignorant hyperbole fits in well here…..are you a staff blogger in this journo venture?

      Reply this comment
      • bob
        bob 31 August, 2014, 19:37

        “are you a staff blogger in this journo venture?”

        Nah, I’m just here to raise your hackles.

        Reply this comment
  5. Queeg
    Queeg 31 August, 2014, 08:45

    It’s the children’not the teachers, and parents and that fool “village” for losing the WW2 personal work ethic/pride and love of God and country.

    Fat doomers just watch the mayhem parade unfold before them instead of taking care of business turning around these fool Gen X’ers and their trophy laden, tattooed, useless spawn!

    Liberals are in their wine barrels swilling as they embrace multiculturalism and the future horrors of sharia, burka shops in all malls, crosses used for impaling religious and the gay community.

    Why the rant…..sick of the cute puns on this site, no answers, no leadership…..while “hope and change” ruins America!

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted Steele, Editor
    Ted Steele, Editor 31 August, 2014, 08:59

    Queeg– there is some truth as always to what you say!

    But I embrace Sharia Law ™
    it is the will of the Prophet ™….

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted Steele, Editor
    Ted Steele, Editor 31 August, 2014, 12:37

    I do agree though Queegster
    We need to stop fooling around and go dismantle these nut jobs before theyt get bigger!!!

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 1 September, 2014, 06:13

      Only time I have ever agreed with you TCS, the RAGWUS must go!! 🙂

      I am a little concerned that USC looked better than my Bruins.!!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
  8. Bruce Morgan
    Bruce Morgan 1 September, 2014, 15:14

    Talented, as in the most talented teachers deserve top pay. We are being passed by the rest of the world. In other top educated countries, only the smartest are picked to teach. How can an intellectually challenged teacher perform at a world class level? And if performance is lacking, fired! Only the smartest can teach our children.

    Reply this comment
  9. JPR11
    JPR11 1 September, 2014, 16:22

    Another Union wag at play with our tax dollars. We just went through another major tax increase yet it is never enough. Possibly by the time all businesses and the middle class are gone the Progressive Socialist will make a turn.

    Reply this comment

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