CA appeals court reverses landmark ruling that upended teacher tenure

In national news with profound statewide reverberations, a California appeals court reversed the controversial decision handed down two years ago in Vergara v. the State of California and the California Teachers Association.

“At issue were five state laws that established layoff procedures based on seniority, laid out dismissal procedures and awarded teachers permanent status, known as tenure, after two years on the job,” as EdSource recalled.

Although teachers unions hailed the reversal, an appeal was all but certain, keeping California’s beleaguered education system in uncertain waters for possibly years to come.

The court rejected Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu’s holding that California’s teacher job protections “deprive poor and minority students of a quality education or violate their civil rights,” as the New York Times reported, “reversing a landmark lower court decision that had overturned the state’s teacher tenure rules.”

“In reversing the trial court’s decision, a panel of three appeals judges wrote that if ineffective teachers are in place, the statutes themselves were not to blame because it was school and district administrators who ‘determine where teachers within a district are assigned to teach.’ The laws themselves, the judges wrote, do not instruct districts in where to place teachers.”

Justice Roger Boren, writing for the court, concluded that the Vergara plaintiffs “ultimately failed to show that the statutes themselves make any certain group of students more likely to be taught by ineffective teachers than any other group of students,” as Southern California Public Radio observed. “Administrators — not the statutes — ultimately determine where teachers within a district are assigned to teach,” he went on. “It is clear that the challenged statutes here, by only their text, do not inevitably cause poor and minority students to receive an unequal, deficient education.”

Uncertain futures

The ruling immediately threw into question the fate of pending litigation around the country. “Parties on both sides viewed the Vergara decision as a bellwether for the nation,” the Los Angeles Times noted. “Similar litigation was filed soon after in New York; and on Thursday, just before the release of the appellate decision in California, another lawsuit was filed in Minnesota.”

“The case was being closely watched across the country by those who argue that allowing administrators to more easily fire bad teachers would improve schools and student performance. Right now, there are a series of job protections that can be invoked before school districts can remove a tenured teacher.”

Battle lines harden

Teachers unions and their supporters rushed to applaud the ruling, which spared them a politically dangerous humiliation; as the Sacramento Bee recalled, until Vergara, they had “easily batted back legislative challenges from groups seeking to overhaul the public education system by eliminating tenure and adding test scores to teacher evaluations.” As the Los Angeles Times noted, “union critics turned to the courts because teachers — ranking among the state’s most powerful interest groups — have been able to block substantial revisions to laws that protect them.”

“From the start, many Vergara supporters saw victory as a long shot but reasoned that the effort at least would keep teacher unions and their allies on the defensive — and call attention to parts of the system they wanted to change.”

But officials in the state GOP also spoke out fast, showing little concern that their political momentum had truly been blunted. Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley, expressed hope that the case rose quickly to the state Supreme Court. “Although I disagree with the court ruling, I know the fight to better our children’s education doesn’t end here,” he said in a statement. “Our children have a civil right to a quality education, and it is disappointing to see that the appeals court doesn’t agree.”

“Although this ruling is a disappointing win for the failing status quo in California, I am committed to continuing the fight to provide every child — regardless of background or zipcode — with a top-quality education that will set them up for success in the classroom, in the workplace, and in life,” said Education Committee vice-chair Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank, in a statement.


Write a comment
  1. Ronald
    Ronald 15 April, 2016, 07:24

    “Tenure” for teachers is blatantly discriminatory as it excludes tenured job protection for other occupations.

    Performance from TENURED teachers is irrelevant for their guaranteed jobs! Tenured teachers are NOT required to teach! In a non-competitive environment, tenure is a direct reflection on low student performance scores as ill qualified teachers are protected from being fired. Tenure protects those in their careers from the competition young workers would generate.

    The unintended consequences of tenure are that students are often shuffled from one grade to the next on the basis of attendance, even if they do not know the material.

    The battle is on: Tenured teachers’ job protection along with no accountability for their performance vs. the students’ need to learn from teachers with no accountability to actually teach.

    In a “real” business environment, only the performers survive. MEDICAL: Can you expect quality service from individuals with protected jobs and complacency to stay abreast of the latest technologies and procedures? SPORTS: Can you imagine tenured athletes with guaranteed jobs having the motivation to be competitive against athletes fighting for their jobs? CONSTRUCTION: Can you expect quality work and adherence to any schedule with a complacent worker tenured with job protections?

    If tenure is allowed to continue, an even playing field would provide tenure opportunities for heart surgeons, airline pilots, athletes, and construction workers, etc., so that they too have guaranteed jobs with no accountability for performance and protect them from the competition from other and possibly more qualified workers.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 16 April, 2016, 17:08

      Ron, you are correct, but the RAGWUS is a labyrinth of bureaucrats with a cadre of sycophants, backslappers, and bootlickers that whine at every turn and exposure. The retired feeders like Skdog, my parrot Teddy, and Ahaul are on constant watch for anyone or thing the brings light to the corruption of our government. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  2. Ted. Mentor to the doomed....Builder of the FUTURE!
    Ted. Mentor to the doomed....Builder of the FUTURE! 15 April, 2016, 09:13

    LOL The Ted System ™ is pretty darn sure that this is yet ANOTHER is a looooooooooong series of epic prediction failures for the Poodle, OC Oddball and the other regular trolls out here on CWD !!!

    Teachers are treated like crap— glad to see workers supported like this.

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 15 April, 2016, 22:19

      Teddy is right on….without teachers civilization would cease in California.

      Trouble with Poodle and Donkey… they appear to be sullen GED certificate holders….shame….every human deserves a better shake in life!

      And remember Spring time is here…Pack and Ship with us.

      Treat ya doomers right-

      Reply this comment
  3. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 15 April, 2016, 22:46

    Not only was the decision reversed by the appellate court, they drove a stake through its heart. There’s no chance it will be granted review by the California Supreme Court.

    We told you crackpots that this was just one Superior Court judge who had wandered off the reservation, but you wouldn’t listen.

    Reply this comment
    • Ulyssess Uhaul
      Ulyssess Uhaul 16 April, 2016, 10:12

      Skippy is the voice of fair and balanced thinking among a gloomy horde of CWD crusty senior doomers who moan the blues while awaiting their social security checks.

      This is a great ruling for teachers who deserve protection and community support against the denegration of mores and values out there-

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 16 April, 2016, 17:01

        This is nothing but the RAGWUS pushing its power of all the state bureaucracies for the advancement of the feeders. It will only help in hastening the collapse of the feeder tax base. Wallow while you still can my RAGWUS dolts, Pompeii is just below the horizon for you. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • bob
          bob 16 April, 2016, 19:23

          I thought they were RAWGUS.

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 16 April, 2016, 20:17

            Not all bob, but the judges do cover for these cretins. 🙂

  4. bob
    bob 17 April, 2016, 10:17

    You boys get yer nice shiney new 540 form filled out and filed along with your shakedown money…er….check for your taxes?

    Someone’s gotta pay for these RAWGI and that someone is you! (Plus for Teddy Steals meds!)×300.jpg

    Get to it boys…Jerry, DeLeon and the rest of those criminals in Sucramento will not tolerate being ignored!

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 17 April, 2016, 14:57

    What is a RAGWUS again? many have forgot or never heard of a RAGWUS.

    Reply this comment
  6. T for Ted!
    T for Ted! 17 April, 2016, 15:52

    Yeah Ragwid????? It’s VERY catchy but I notice only the trolls out here use the term and it is rareley explained?

    Is it something to do with all of the epic troll prediction failures…well….like this particular court case?

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 17 April, 2016, 17:49


    Ragwenettus , the founder of RAGWUS, a going quasi advalorum fraternal group back in the day, a few years after Romulus invented vitamin enriched packaged dog food…..Ragwid is an offshoot surly group of chubby plutocrats from Rio Linda….sorta harmless but useful here and thereafter…..just clearing up things, hopefully for those GED gems Poodle and Donkey.

    Reply this comment
  8. desmond
    desmond 17 April, 2016, 18:17

    We live in bizarre times. Did anyone catch that the U San Fran women basketball coach came out as as gay and her partner is a subordinate . Not a peep about this is inappropriate. Imagine if men ‘s basketball coach was popping his weasel in a female trainer for the team. He would be hung by his balls.
    I can t wait when the Woman Olympic team is 90 percent transgender. It will have the same attraction as the bearded lady at the carnival. Imagine the woman100 meter Sprint gold medal winner has a bigger tool than the Jamaican man 100 meter Sprint gold medal winner. Isn t this great?

    Reply this comment
  9. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 17 April, 2016, 19:39

    You’ve been making the same tired predictions for 7 or 8 years now. The end is more remote than ever.

    Reply this comment
  10. bob
    bob 17 April, 2016, 21:08

    Reply this comment
  11. T for TTTT Teddy Baby Ted!
    T for TTTT Teddy Baby Ted! 17 April, 2016, 21:51

    THANKS Uhaul– explains everything!

    Reply this comment
  12. T Mind of your Ted Godhead System
    T Mind of your Ted Godhead System 18 April, 2016, 21:58

    I think that video actually shows Duncey in a trance like Ragwus dance she does before each prediction she makes!

    Reply this comment
  13. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 19 April, 2016, 21:59

    Yes….. this dance has roots in Adelanto about 1114 A.D., the same year Poodle’s distant kin took spurious credit for inventing supporters and a precursor to Geritol!

    Reply this comment

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