LAUSD Superintendent Deasy Claims California's Teacher Tenure, Dismissal Laws Hinder Education

Mar 31 2014, 11:08pm CDT | by

LAUSD Superintendent Deasy Claims California's Teacher Tenure, Dismissal Laws Hinder Education
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

The superintendent of the nation’s second largest public school system testified recently that California’s labor laws regarding teacher seniority run counter to the rights of students to receive a quality education.

During three days of testimony in Los Angeles Superior Court, John Deasy, head of the Los Angeles Unified School District, spoke in support of the nine student plaintiffs in Vergara vs California. He also faced a tough line of questioning from state and teachers’ union attorneys, who are defending a series of generous state laws that protect teachers from termination and reward them for their longevity in the classroom.

Deasy has been a critic of both the tenure and termination laws.

“I do not believe it’s in the best interest of students whatsoever,” Deasy testified. “I have been very clear at indicating that the decision about who should be in front of students should be the most effective teacher and that this statute prohibits that from being a consideration at all. So by virtue of that, it can’t be good for students.”

Not only does tenure hinder many students from receiving a quality education, it also harms teacher morale and makes it difficult sometimes to recruit new teachers, Deasy noted. Prospective employees prefer to work at a system where job security is tied to job performance, he added.

Since becoming the LAUSD’s superintendent in 2011, Deasy has worked to improve the process of removing ineffective educators. In 2011-12, his first full school year in the system, the number of dismissals rose to 99. That was nearly a 10-fold increase from just two years earlier.

While the number of dismissals has risen, Deasy testified that the district still employs too many “ineffective” teachers. Part of that is due to the process of removing such teachers, which can take up to 10 years to run its course and cost on average of $450,000.

“Districts have finite budgets,” he said. “The expense of an appeals process is one of the decisions in front of the Board of Education. Boards have to approve the extension of funds during the appeals process. Some cases have been in the millions. When you have little or no money that means you’re going backward. Millions means you could hire a teacher, or an aide or a principal and instead you’re appealing this process. So that has a weight and an effect on that taking place.”

The plaintiffs in Vergara vs. California seek to overturn the state law that give teachers tenure after just 18 months on the job. In addition, they also seek to strike laws that force school districts facing layoffs to use only length of service as the deciding factor, commonly known as “Last In, First Out.”

Laura Juran, a lawyer representing the California Teachers Association (CTA), was one of several lawyers cross-examining Deasy. She pointed to his record of terminations as proof that current laws work. The CTA is one of two teachers’ unions who joined the case as a defendant.

Attorney Jim Finburg of the California Federation of Teachers, the other union to join, asked Deasy whether other factors, such as socioeconomic status, play a larger role than teacher effectiveness in a student’s education. Deasy countered by saying while there may be a correlation, an impoverished student still can receive, and deserves, a quality education.

What do you think of Deasy’s position on California’s teacher tenure and dismissal laws? Let me know in the Comments area below. 

@Crotty

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Japanese government concerned by yen's rapid fall against dollar
Tokyo, Nov 21 (IANS/EFE) Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso Friday expressed concern over the sharp depreciation of the yen against the dollar this week, and said abrupt movements in the foreign exchange market were not beneficial to the Japanese economy.
 
 
WHO declares DRC Ebola-free
Geneva, Nov 21 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Friday declared the end of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
 
 
Ultra rich population getting richer: Study
Washington, Nov 21 (IANS) Only 0.004 percent of the world's high networth adult population controls almost 13 percent of the world's total wealth, according to a new study.
 
 
Morocco, US organisation sign MoU on 'Enterprise City' project
Marrakech, Nov 21 (IANS) The Moroccan government and US institution Babson Global have signed a memorandum of understanding to conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of an "Enterprise City", a city dedicated to business, in the North African country.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Chinese court upholds life sentence against Uyghur activist
Beijing, Nov 21 (IANS/EFE) A court in western China has upheld the conviction and life sentence handed down against Uyghur activist Ilham Tohti, who appealed the sentence when it was first passed in September, one of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Matt Smith to star in Patient Zero
Matt Smith has been cast in 'Patient Zero'. The former 'Doctor Who' star has signed on to appear in the infection film which will see him have to cope with the aftermath of a worldwide viral pandemic across the Earth....
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Mick Jagger praises 'amazing' Chadwick Boseman
Sir Mick Jagger claims Chadwick Boseman is ''amazing'' as James Brown in the singer's biopic 'Get On Up'. The 71-year-old Rolling Stones rocker co-produced the movie and praised the young actor for his portrayal of the...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
South African president calls for end to racism in sports
Johannesburg, Nov 21 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma Friday called for global efforts to end racism in sports. South Africa adds its voice to the billions of others throughout the world who are determined to...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sheamus wants reality show for WWE Superstars
Sheamus wants to appear in a reality TV show about the WWE Superstars. The 36-year-old star believes the success of E! series 'Total Divas', which follows the lives of the female competitors in the company, has shown...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Bill Murray: Actors are heroes
Bill Murray thinks actors are heroes. The 'Ghostbusters' star - who recently had an entire day dedicated to him at Toronto Film Festival - claims people admire actors so much because they get to escape reality by...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Robin Williams' son: We're doing OK
Robin Williams' son says the late star's family are still adapting ''to the new normal'' following his father's death. The Hollywood actor died from asphyxia due to hanging at his home in August aged 63 and his eldest...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Jennifer Lopez exfoliates with diamonds
Jennifer Lopez exfoliates her legs with diamonds. The 'On the Floor' hitmaker reportedly swears by a $250 Australian-made body scrub that is made with ''diamond powder'' to keep cellulite at bay. A source close to the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian golfers Atwal, Rashid tied 15th in Manila Masters
Manila, Nov 21 (IANS) Indian golfers Arjun Atwal and Rashid Khan shared the 15th position after the second round of the $1 million Manila Masters at the par-72 Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club here Friday....
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Sarjubala, Saweety enter women's World boxing semis
Jeju (South Korea), Nov 21 (IANS) Indian boxers Shamjetsabam Sarjubala and Saweety reached the semi-finals of the Women's World Championships here Friday. Sarjubala started the proceedings with a dominating 3:0 win...
Read more on Sport Balla